Monday, November 30, 2015

Color Tolerancing: When the Human Eye Isn’t Enough

As sensitive to color as the human eye can be, it simply cannot define color differences quantitatively for precise and repeatable analysis. In some cases, visual perception of color variance could mean shipping a batch of product that does not meet specification, and in other cases, it could mean discarding a batch of good materials. These costly mistakes can be avoided when tolerances are established and differences are quantified.

How can you tell if the color is right?

There are a number of ways to determine whether a batch falls within an acceptable tolerance; however, not all methods will provide precise results. At Americhem, we suggest that the best and most accurate way to test acceptable color tolerance is to use an elliptical pass/fail system, which is based upon an equation developed by the Colour Measurement Committee. This system places a customizable emphasis on hue and chromaticity value, allowing you to determine how much weight is placed on the hue and chromaticity differences of the two colors.

Having good tolerances in place for each product allows you to make quick and easy pass/fail or ship/don’t ship decisions that can directly impact the profitability of your business. At Americhem, we understand how challenging it can be to accurately define color tolerances. You can read an article in Plastics Engineering about Measuring Color from Americhem Color Expert, Ron Beck.

For more information on color tolerancing or to learn about Americhem’s services, visit or contact Scott Blanchard at

Friday, November 20, 2015

Americhem’s Environmental Efforts

Since 2008, Americhem has had an active approach to become an environmentally friendly company. We set and accomplish our goals by changes in how our business operates, the products we provide and the technologies we develop. Environmental responsibility is a key element in our company principles, and we are always trying to better ourselves to follow through with our commitment to our people, the public and the environment.

Office Improvements

  • We have made big changes at our plants and in our offices where there are many opportunities to continue to improve.
  • Implemented recycling programs at all of our locations for polymer waste, cans, bottles, paper and items such as ink cartridges.
  • Installed light switch sensors and high efficiency lighting across our US plant network.
  • Departments such as accounting and purchasing made an effort to go paperless by using systems such as the automated clearing house (ACH).
  • Americhem corporate offices have solar tubes in the ceilings, increasing the use of natural light and reducing electrical consumption.

ISO 14001 Certification

The ISO 14001 standard certifies that companies follow a specific framework to help reduce negative impact on the environment. Our plant located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio has been ISO 14001 certified for a year and we have a goal to certify all of our plants in the future, starting with our plant in Suzhou, China in 2016.

In Our Plants

We identified a list of potential changes when we evaluated our plants. All of our plants are working towards zero landfill input, which is a work in progress but a goal that we see as possible. At our plants, we use recirculating cooling systems (chillers) to cool many different pieces of equipment. The heat absorbed from the process must be dissipated to allow reuse of the water so cooling towers/chillers are used for this purpose. They save us from using a lot of city water that normally would be wasted once used in processing.

Eco-Friendly Products

Another way that we reduce environmental impact is through products such as nBalance™ sustainable solutions and solution dyeing technology.
  • 31 of our American PET colorants received Oeko Tex certification for synthetic fibers in Europe.
  • nBalance - a mix of color and additive masterbatches that are designed to reduce consumption of natural resources and use minimal energy in manufacturing and distribution.
  • Solution Dye Process - enhances your fiber production by coloring and spinning fiber in just one step. It also requires less water and eliminates the need for downstream equipment.
We also make hundreds of unique masterbatches for building products that do not require on-site applied materials, such as paint and stain. We help create products that contain recycled materials, giving you consistent results with more environmentally-friendly materials. We also help reduce the yellowness characteristics of recycled polymer streams.

Go Green with Americhem

With Americhem, you have a partner that not only provides you with state-of-the-art color and additive masterbatches, but also one that can help you limit your impact on the environment. Call us today at 1-800-228-3476 or contact us online to see the Americhem difference for yourself.


Aubrey Barto

Marketing Assistant, Americhem


Thursday, November 19, 2015

ITMA 2015 Proves (Yet Again) that it’s the King of Global Textile Shows

The International Textile Machinery Association (ITMA) held its 2015 exhibition in Milan, Italy from November 12-19. This show, founded in 1951, has been held ever
From left to right: Robert Laurent, Larry Campbell
and Pierre Vandekerckhove man Americhem's booth
at ITMA 2015 in Milan, Italy.
y four years, and as such, it makes it unique, at least amongst the other tradeshows that our company participates in. There are several shows that are held only once every 2 years and others (some of our industry’s largest) that are held every three, but ITMA stands alone at the four-year interval.

For each show, a European venue is selected, and this year’s choice of Milan was well-conceived, near the heart of the Italian textile machinery industry. Even before the show began, there was news as the record was broken for amount of exhibit space sold. 1,691 exhibitors from 46 countries lined the many exhibit halls. This broke the previous record set in 2007 when the ITMA exhibition in Munich, Germany saw 1,451 exhibitors from 38 countries. Americhem was proud to display at both gatherings.

The trade fair features more than just textile machinery, however, and ITMA 2015 had grown to draw materials suppliers, logistics providers, lab testing and measuring equipment, software and recyclers. Indeed, the theme of this show was “Master the Art of Sustainable Innovation” and sustainability was a hot topic on the show floor.

Americhem's ITMA booth featured a synthetic turf floorcovering, graphics
and videos describing our new products and samples of Americhem
color and additive products in textile applications.
Hundreds of visitors stopped by Americhem’s stand, located in the colorants and chemical axillaries hall. The mood of our visitors was upbeat and bullish on the industry. The previous ITMA, held in Barcelona in 2011, was picking up momentum from the global financial recovery, but folks who stopped by our booth were in a very optimistic mood and that bodes well for the industry.

ITMA will return to Barcelona in 2019, and the location is apt, considering that Spain had one of the top four positions in this year’s participation by country. The top 4 from first through third included Italy (not surprisingly), Germany and Switzerland. The show’s Asian counterpart, ITMA Asia + CITME, will take place in Shanghai, China in October 2016, and Americhem will exhibit there, as well.

From the 2007 Munich show until now, we have observed more and more companies exhibiting in our category. From just a few masterbatch providers in 2007, we saw many in 2015, including new players from Asia, Europe, and North America. Our staff is confident that, to be a player in the field exhibiting at ITMA is a must and, despite the fact that it’s four years away, we’ll be anxious to gauge the industry at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona.

Did you attend ITMA 2015? We’d love to hear your observations and commentary, so leave us a comment about the show.

Scott Blanchard
Corporate Marketing & Communications Manager

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monthly Color Inspirations - Brown

The color brown is serious and down to earth with properties like stability, structure and support. The warmth of the color relates to the protection and support of the family unit with a sense of duty and responsibility.

The color brown symbolizes quality in everything - a comfortable home, the best food and drink. The warmth of woodgrain home accents relaxes you with and creates a sense of security. Brown provides a feeling of good health, brings you down to earth and adds order to your life.

Global Meaning of Brown*
  • With its connection to the outdoors and down-to-earth activities, brown is suitable for businesses promoting outdoor products and services.
Unique Meaning of Brown in Different Cultures*
  • In Chinese horoscopes, brown is the color for earth.
We can help you convey endurance, duty and stability to your customers with the perfect shade of brown. Contact us today.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sold Out Fakuma Trade Fair Attracts the Global Plastics Industry

Our commercial team took a trip to Friedrichshafen, Germany for the Fakuma Trade Fair, held Oct. 13-17 at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre. Show officials announced before Fakuma’s start that all available exhibition space had been sold out starting in February of this year. The show is held twice every three years and takes a break in years that the K show is held. Perhaps the heavy visitor traffic could be attributed in part to the fact that K show will be held in October of 2016, meaning Fakuma will take a year off.

The exhibitors were of every shape and size as it relates to the plastics industry. We visited with resin producers, equipment companies, 3D printer firms and even some color suppliers. The halls were humming with plastics production equipment and the aisles stayed busy throughout our 2 day stay. It depended who you talked to as to the stream of visitors to their booths, but the majority of exhibitors were well pleased with the attendance.

As you might expect, there was quite a bit of buzz about the K show happening next year although it contrasts with Fakuma in several respects. Friedrichshafen is far from any urban area while K is held in the much more metropolitan Dusseldorf with its population of 11 million people. Though most will attend K, many said that, despite its size, Fakuma feels more like a family production, which makes sense as the Schall family has produced Fakuma for many years.

Many of the new products we saw were for the automotive industry, where lightweighting and emission reduction is of the utmost importance. Some lightweighting is achieved through specialty plastics compounds. Since plastic is lighter than metal, the focus is around trying to get plastic as close as you can in physical properties to metals. This will continue to benefit the companies that can produce products that work in this industry. Regarding emissions, manufacturers are even concerned with the interior atmosphere of the car in addition to external emissions.

We had many good meetings with our customers and, as we discovered last year, there are many industries present that could benefit from Americhem products and technologies. We’ll look forward to 2017 with the optimism shared by most in this important industry event.

Andreas Weller
Key Account Manager, Americhem Inc.

Thomas Weigl

VP and Managing Director EMEA, Americhem Inc.