Vestas and Hempel Enter into Partnership Agreement

Vestas and Hempel have announced that they are teaming up in a new strategic partnership to cooperate around innovative solutions for surface protection of wind turbines. According to the companies, the joint Vestas and Hempel ambition is to reduce surface treatment costs and support sustainable coating solutions. At the same time, Hempel will reportedly continue to assist Vestas in remaining competitive throughout the entire process of becoming CO2 neutral by 2030.

At Vestas’ Colorado wind tower manufacturing site, Vestas and Hempel will closely collaborate on bringing down costs and exploring new digital solutions to improve quality control and the CO2 footprint of the production of wind turbines. Initial calculations demonstrate that changing the processes surrounding the surface treatment application will potentially generate a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions equal to 1,100 tons CO2 per year, Vestas reported.

“We are pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Hempel with this partnership. It is a great example of how we make sustainability part of everything we do and how we strive to engage in close and mutually beneficial partnerships across our value chain to improve both our operational efficiency and sustainability performance,” said Vestas COO Tommy Rahbek Nielsen.

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Sherwin-Williams Pushes Move to Public Square Headquarters and R&D Center to 2024

Sherwin-Williams has announced that the move to the new headquarters in Cleveland and the R&D center in Brecksville is now scheduled to occur sometime in 2024, compared to the previously announced date of late 2023. In February, the company announced that it would keep its world headquarters in Cleveland by building a new facility just west of Public Square while also building a new R&D center in Brecksville.

Sherwin-Williams said some of the project activities were paused in April, but it did not elaborate as to why they were paused. No decision has yet been made about the disposition of the company’s current headquarters and R&D center, located in Cleveland at West Prospect Avenue and Canal Road, respectively, or its facility on Warrensville Center Road.

Additionally, the company has announced key project partners to include the following groups and organizations:

  • Pickard Chilton Architects, Inc. – Design architect for the global headquarters
  • HGA Architects and Engineers, LLC (HGA) – Base building architect for the global headquarters; Design, base building and interior architect for the R&D Center
  • Vocon Partners, LLC – Interior architect for the global headquarters
  • Welty Gilbane, a Joint Venture – Construction manager
  • Mark G. Anderson Consultants, Inc. (MGAC) – Project manager, project controls and owner’s representative
  • CBRE Inc. – Real estate and economic development advisor
  • Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP – Legal and economic development counsel
  • Hanson Bridgett LLP – Legal counsel
  • inSITE Advisory Group – Economic development advisor

“The key partners we have selected are aligned with our vision of creating a next generation workplace that supports serving our customers at the highest level, retaining and attracting top talent, and igniting creativity, collaboration and industry-leading innovation,” said John G. Morikis, Sherwin-Williams chairman and CEO.

The company is expected to invest a minimum of $600 million to build both facilities. The two facilities will reportedly house more than 3,500 employees with room to accommodate future growth. Over time, Sherwin-Williams will add a minimum of 400 jobs at these facilities over time, according to the company.

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IMERYS Performance Minerals Expands Distribution Partnership with IMCD

IMERYS and IMCD have announced the expansion of their distribution agreement. IMCD will now represent IMERYS Performance Minerals as its Preferred Distributor across the United States and Canada. The partnership is expected to provide customers with a consolidated point of contact ready to provide access to IMERYS’ expansive multi-mineral product portfolio, backed by IMCD’s technical sales expertise, laboratory support, and extensive footprint in the region, the companies reported. IMCD will represent nearly all IMERYS mineral offerings, with the exception of air float kaolin in Canada.

“This expanded distribution agreement is a testament to the trust and confidence we strive to build with our supplier partners,” said Marcus Jordan, Americas president, IMCD. “Teaming up with IMCD across the U.S. and Canada means access to our coast-to-coast, market-focused technical knowledge and logistical reach, delivering effective solutions, driving innovation and cultivating market growth. We very much look forward to further developing our already successful partnership with IMERYS.”


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AkzoNobel Receives Boeing Approval for Color Blending in China

AkzoNobel’s aerospace coatings facility in Dongguan, China, has been qualified by aircraft manufacturer Boeing to color blend the company’s Aerodur 3001 basecoat. The certification means the site has been certified by Boeing to blend AkzoNobel’s industry-leading basecoat/clearcoat system, Aerodur 3001/3002, locally in China with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) approval. The Dongguan facility is also now listed on Boeing’s official QPL for BMS10-72 specification.

The company stated that QPL approval status is an important milestone for the facility, which opened in 2017 to specifically serve the North and South Asian aviation market and deliver cutting-edge technologies faster and more reliably. “We’re proud to receive this certification from Boeing,” said Ron Fattal, AkzoNobel’s key account manager for Boeing. “It’s further recognition of our commitment to putting the needs of our customers at the heart of our product development.”

The Dongguan site has been open since December 2001, with the Aerospace Coatings facility being added as an expansion in early 2017.

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WACKER Inaugurates Global Competence Center for Thermal Interface Materials in Shanghai

WACKER has opened a global competence center for thermal interface materials in Shanghai, China. The new laboratory is located at the company’s China headquarters in Caohejing High-Tech Park. The company’s new R&D lab in Shanghai will focus on the development of silicone-based thermal interface materials (TIM) and novel applications. “With the new lab installed, WACKER will be able to significantly improve its capability of fundamental research for such materials and come up with tailor-made products to support our customers around the world,” Stated Christian Gimber, head of Engineering Silicones at WACKER’s silicone division.

At WACKER’s TIM competence center, experts will reportedly conduct fundamental research aimed at overcoming technical hurdles with regard to performance, processability and cost-effectiveness and leverage WACKER’s proprietary technology to work on new material designs. “For improved thermal management of components, the industry is increasingly turning to heat-dissipation materials,”Gimber added. “Our thermally conductive silicones can be processed very efficiently, and they also meet the stringent and rising safety and reliability requirements imposed by the electronics and automotive industries.”

The company added that the facility will develop customized products and solutions with locally available raw materials for the Chinese market, but also support other labs in the company’s worldwide network, such as labs in Germany and Korea, when creating new formulations. WACKER stated that the demand for silicone-based TIMs is expected to grow continuously, as power density is rising exponentially and thermal management systems become increasingly important.

“China’s range of TIM applications is quite remarkable and one of the most comprehensive in the world. What’s more, operating a major TIM research facility here in China also means that our Chinese customers will be able to benefit from a faster response time,” said Paul Lindblad, president of WACKER Greater China.


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ACA Comments on FTC “Made in the USA” Label Statements Proposal

On Sept. 14, ACA submitted comments to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its proposed rule codifying requirements for “Made in the USA” (MUSA) label statements. With the proposal, FTC intends to formalize requirements for MUSA claims.  FTC has a long history of deeming unqualified MUSA claims as deceptive under the FTC Act.

FTC considers products with more than a de minimis amount of components manufactured outside the United States as violating its MUSA requirements. In 1997, FTC formalized that policy in its Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims (“Policy Statement”), elaborating that a marketer making an unqualified claim for its product should, at the time of the representation, have a reasonable basis for asserting that “all or virtually all” of the product is made in the United States. FTC now proposes a MUSA Labeling Rule incorporating this established standard pursuant to its rulemaking authority under 15 U.S.C. 45a.

FTC has noted that consumers perceive MUSA claims as an indication that a product consists of all or virtually all ingredients or components that are made and sourced in the United States.

FTC’s proposal follows the agency’s previous MUSA Decisions and Orders by prohibiting marketers from including unqualified MUSA claims on labels unless:

  • Final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the United States;
  • All significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States; and
  • All or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States.

The proposal also covers labels making unqualified MUSA claims appearing in electronic or mail order advertising and other printed materials.

In its comments, ACA suggested that FTC provide additional guidance addressing percentage values and/or other guidance to assist manufacturers in determining the amount of trace components of foreign or unknown origin that can be included in a product, where the product is labeled with an unqualified “Made in USA” statement, to promote consistent information to consumers. ACA underscored further complication by changes in supply of raw materials: ACA member companies typically purchase raw materials from distributors; and these raw materials may be mixtures with some foreign produced components or raw materials in bulk form with a higher purity than mixtures. Due to these muddying factors, consumers may not receive consistent messaging with unqualified MUSA label statements.  Companies interpret the threshold of “all or virtually all ingredients” differently, using varying amounts of trace level components of foreign or unknown origin. As such, additional FTC guidance would be helpful to companies to assure labels meet FTC requirements, prior to modifying labels.

ACA also urged FTC to consider delaying the effective date of the amended MUSA rule by one to three years from publication, considering companies’ good faith efforts to comply and navigate changing consumer perception. This would allow time for sale of old products already in distribution, often placed in distribution several years prior, while companies replenish supply with products with updated labels. Delayed enforcement would be consistent with FTC’s statement that this rule would “strengthen its enforcement program and make it easier for businesses to understand and comply with the law.”

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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California Considers Proposition 65 Listing for Seven Chemicals

On Sept. 4, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it is accepting public comments on seven chemicals/chemical groups being evaluated as potential carcinogens for listing under “Proposition 65,” California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. OEHHA’s comment period closes on Oct. 19, 2020.

The seven chemicals/chemical groups are:

  • Bisphenol A
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Coal dust
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE)
  • Methyl bromide
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and its salts and transformation and degradation precursors
  • Trifluralin

If OEHHA finalizes listing, manufacturers of products containing one or more of these chemicals must provide warnings on product labels within one year. Under Proposition 65 (Prop 65), individuals must provide warnings prior to exposure to a chemical identified by the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm. The duty to warn applies to most individuals causing an exposure, including product manufacturers, employers and individuals causing exposures in an affected area. Prop 65 requires the State of California maintain a list of chemicals that are known to the State to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, or both. The list includes over 900 chemicals since it was published in 1987. The state can add chemicals to the Prop 65 list using four mechanisms: 1) the State’s qualified expert mechanism; 2) formally required to label mechanism; 3) labor code listing mechanism; and 4) authoritative body mechanism.

OEHHA is holding a public meeting of the Proposition 65 Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) on Nov. 17, 2020, to discuss these seven chemicals. The meeting will be held virtually, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (PDT) and will last until all business is conducted or until 5:00 p.m. (PDT).

OEHHA has made available a prioritization document reviewing data indicating carcinogenicity for these seven chemicals.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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EPA Initiates Development of Risk Mitigation Rules for Methylene Chloride and 1-BP

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be host a webinar on Sept. 30 for stakeholders to review its risk mitigation process after risk evaluation, focusing on 1-bromopropane (1-BP). The agency has finalized risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for both 1-BP and methylene chloride, and EPA held a webinar on the latter on Sept. 16. During the upcoming webinar, EPA will address its process for issuing a risk mitigation rule and industry engagement.

By law, EPA must propose a rule within one year of finalizing a risk evaluation, and it must issue a final rule within two years.

EPA, with ACA, will be hosting a webinar for ACA members only to talk about risk mitigation for methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane, as it relates to ACA members’ products. A date and time is yet to be determined.  

EPA has identified the following relevant uses for methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane where the agency reached a final determination of unreasonable risk.

In the methylene chloride risk evaluation, EPA found unreasonable risk for the following uses relevant to ACA members’ products:

  • Processing – Incorporation into formulation (workers and ONU’s)
  • Processing – Repackaging (ONU’s)
  • Adhesives and sealants, industrial and commercial use (workers and ONU’s)
  • Paints and coatings, industrial and commercial use (workers and ONU’s)
  • Paint and coating removers, industrial and commercial use (workers and ONU’s)
  • Adhesive and caulk removers, industrial and commercial use (workers and ONU’s)
  • Anti-adhesive agents, industrial and commercial use (workers)
  • Consumer adhesives and sealants (consumers and by-standers)
  • Consumer brush cleaners (consumers)
  • Consumer adhesive and caulk removers (consumers and by-standers)
  • Crafting glue, cement and concrete (consumers and by-standers)
  • Anti-adhesive agents (consumers and by-standers)
  • Carbon remover and brush cleaner (consumers and by-standers)

For the 1-BP risk evaluation, EPA issued findings of unreasonable risk for:

  • Processing, incorporation into formulation (unreasonable risk for workers and ONU’s)
  • Adhesive chemicals (industrial / commercial use) – spray adhesive for foam cushion manufacturing and other uses (unreasonable risk for workers and ONU’s)
  • Anti-adhesive agents, industrial / commercial use (unreasonable risk for workers and ONU’s)
  • Adhesive accelerant, industrial / commercial, arts/crafts (unreasonable risk for workers and ONU’s)
  • Laboratory chemicals (unreasonable risk for workers and ONU’s)
  • Consumer adhesive accelerant, arts / crafts (unreasonable risk to consumers and bystanders)
  • Consumer anti-adhesive agent, arts / crafts (unreasonable risk to consumers and bystanders)

EPA found the following uses for 1-BP do not pose an unreasonable risk: Disposal and exposure to the general population, through sediment, drinking water or surface water.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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Update: California Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) VOC Rulemakings

California regulatory activity around Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings volatile organic compound (VOC) content has ramped up since  the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted its 2019 AIM Suggested Control Measure (SCM) in May 2019. Various California Air Districts use the CARB SCM to develop their AIM rule revisions, which have trended toward lower and lower VOC content limits. This is because the 2019 CARB AIM SCM is based on the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) AIM Rule 1113.

Notably, the SCAQMD Rule 1113 is the country’s strictest regulation covering VOC in AIM products and includes over 20 limits that are lower than the current 2007 AIM SCM.

On May 28, 2020, CARB adopted its 2020 AIM SCM, which includes a new Photovoltaic coating category and limit. Several California Air Districts have recently proposed or have adopted the SCMs. The following provides an update on AIM VOC regulatory activity around California.

On April 17, 2020, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District was the first California Air District to adopt the 2019 CARB AIM SCM. San Joaquin also adopted SCAQMD Small Container Exemption (SCE) contingency measure, and other districts including San Diego will likely follow. If San Joaquin does not meet the 2008 National 8 hour Ozone Standard, in 2031 the SCAQMD SCE contingency measure would automatically become effective. While the contingency measures do not include additional time to come into compliance, San Joaquin committed to work with industry and provide as much notice as possible to give industry time to comply with the contingency measure.

More recently, the Ventura County Air Quality Management District, San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, El Dorado, Mojave Desert and Monterey Bay Air Resources Districts released proposals to revise their AIM rules. San Diego and Ventura are adopting the 2019 SCM whereas Mojave and Monterey are adopting the 2020 SCM. El Dorado proposed to make minor edits to its rule (2007 SCM), and San Diego has proposed to include the SCAQMD Small Container Contingency measure.

Several additional California Air Districts are expected to propose additional AIM VOC rulemakings in the near future.

ACA’s AIM VOC Committee tracks and comments on the various AIM VOC regulations. ACA members, please contact David Darling if you would like to join to the AIM VOC committee.

Contact ACA’s David Darling for more information.

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Inkmaker Acquires Swesa Dosiersysteme GmbH

Inkmaker srl has announced the acquisition of German company SWESA that specializes in customized dosing-systems. According to the company, this acquisition is another milestone in achieving Inkmaker Group’s global objective of offering total process-engineering to its clients.

“Over the past few years Inkmaker has managed to successfully increase its business in Germany. The growth realized necessitated a next step, and the acquisition of SWESA is the logical outcome of it. SWESA’s knowledge and technology is a perfect fit for the Inkmaker Group, and we will continue the production of SWESA units in Germany,” said Christophe Rizzo, CEO of the Inkmaker Group.

Managing director and owner of SWESA Roland Steinberg will continue to play an active role in sales as SWESA takes on a greater role within the Inkmaker group of companies. SWESA will continue its focus on dispensing systems for the food packaging, office furniture, tissues, and heavy-duty corrugated packaging industries from its base in Eltville am Rhein, Germany and will continue to support its existing SWESA customers. Additionally, the company stated that it will benefit from the support available from the Inkmaker group of companies’ global businesses — including offices in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australasia — as well as their combined global network of partners who will offer greater sales and support to their clients.

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