Eastman Chemical Company Names CEO & Director Mark Costa as Board Chairman

Eastman Chemical Company announced that the Board of Directors has selected Chief Executive Officer and director Mark J. Costa to serve as Chairman of the Board, effective 30 June, 2014 upon the retirement of James P. Rogers as Executive Chairman of the Board.

“Mark is a demonstrated leader and we are pleased to have him serve as Chairman,” said Stephen R. Demeritt, independent Lead Director, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors. “We are grateful to Jim for his leadership and have every confidence that Mark and the senior leaders will continue to execute the company’s strategy to deliver superior value and strong, consistent earnings growth.”

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Shield End Rings and Shield Rings Made of FRP for the First Time

no shrinkageHaren, Germany –  Röchling Engineering Plastics KG opens up new areas of transformer construction: The processor of plastics is the first manufacturer of shield end rings and shield rings for oil-filled power transformers made from glass fibre reinforced resin-based materials. The rings offered under the brand name Durostone® EPX-M do not exhibit any shrinkage after the vapour phase drying and so allow designers to calculate the dimensioning with precise tolerances.

The rings are manufactured in a special winding process and consist of a glass fibre reinforcement and a resin matrix on the basis of epoxy resins. As a glass fibre reinforced high-performance plastic Durostone® EPX-M combines a high dimensional stability with an extreme strength, even at high operating temperatures.

No shrinkage in the vapour phase drying

Classic materials such as pressboard or laminated densified wood shrink during drying in the vapour phase kiln. This shrinkage must be taken into account beforehand in the dimensioning of the components for the transformers. Thanks to the high dimensional stability components produced from Durostone® EPX-M retain their original dimensions. This simplifies things for the designers in the design and calculation of the height of the wound coil in the transformer, as safe values can be expected.

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Research Confirms Next Generation Bioplastics Could be Made From Trees

bioplasticsA research project led by a British bioplastics developer, Biome Bioplastics, has demonstrated the feasibility of extracting organic chemicals from lignin for the manufacture of bioplastics.

The results stem from a grant from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, awarded to a consortium led by Biome Bioplastics in early 2013 to investigate lignin as a new source of organic chemicals for bioplastics manufacture, which could significantly reduce costs and increase performance of these sustainable materials.

Lignin is a complex hydrocarbon that helps to provide structural support in plants and trees. As a waste product of the pulp and paper industry, lignin is a potentially abundant and low-cost feedstock for the high performance chemicals that could provide the foundation for the next generation of bioplastics.

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Extreme Conditions Drive Materials Advances in Oil and Gas

Failure is not an option when a part is at the bottom of the ocean, deep in the earth or many miles away in the desolate desert or frozen wastelands, but all of these hostile situations are becoming more common operating conditions for the oil and gas industry.  The cost of the safety-critical components is minor compared to the cost of an oil leak or a well shut down, so the highest quality standards and performance are demanded from suppliers.  The role of polymer materials in the oil and gas environment will be discussed at the 9th international conference Element Oilfield Engineering with Polymers organised by AMI in London at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel from 21-23 October 2014.

The industry needs high quality and high standards, with assessment of life time to maximise reliability, while the research and development divisions of the major operators and their suppliers are constantly looking for the ultimate durable materials for applications ranging from seals and sealing to insulation, flow lines, risers and coatings. In France, TOTAL has been working with IFREMER testing qualification and lifetime prediction methods for subsea wet thermal insulation coatings, which are being used at increasing water depths. From Scandinavia, STATOIL, NTNU and SINTEF have collaborated on ice-phobic coatings to reduce slip and to prevent ice from forming and hindering functional equipment, which are particular issues in arctic conditions.

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Market Study: Windows and Doors – Europe

For the very first time, Ceresana has published a study regarding the European market for windows and doors (both interior and external) that are utilized by the construction sector. In addition to demand and revenues, this report also includes data on production and trade. The relevant figures for demand, production and revenues in this study are given for windows and doors separately.

In regard to windows, this study focuses on number, material and application (new construction or renovation). Analysts of Ceresana expect the volume of the European market for windows and doors to rise to approx. 225 million units in 2020.

Both in the segments new construction and renovations, windows and doors are essential building blocks for subsegments such as residential and commercial construction. Nowadays, the construction industry is exerting very high requirements on these elements: factors such as longevity, optics, safety and superior insulating properties and energy efficiency play a more and more important role. The final characteristics of the product depend on the materials and the processing technologies. Quality and make of PVC windows, for example, changed considerably during the past years due to the introduction of multiple-chamber systems.

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President’s Message: Conference and Board Updates + What’s to Come in 2015

Welcome to the mid-year EPDA newsletter, where I have the chance to update you on the Board and staff activities and plans as well as outline changes taking place within our association. Despite the distraction of the European elections, the continued civil unrest in East Ukraine, leading to the reluctant withdrawal from EPDA of one of our members and, for some, the Eurovision Song Contest (not me, I hasten to add), we managed to host the 41st Annual EPDA Conference in Malmö, Sweden. From the post-conference survey feedback, the event was once again well-received and proved very successful.

From a business perspective, the quarterly State of the Nation survey, combined with other external indicators, would suggest that our markets are doing well in 2014. Our members are experiencing increasing sales revenues and volumes and, as a consequence, are able to increase headcount, make those all-important CAPEX investments and at the same time are experiencing a healthy debtor situation. Let us all continue to drive our industry forward for the remainder of the year and make it one of the best.

EPDA Annual Conference

An interesting statistic is that our distributor members have operations in 25 European countries and it was appropriate to hold this year’s conference in the rapidly expanding and increasingly cosmopolitan city of Malmö, Sweden. Another important statistic is that we welcomed 14 first-timers from across those countries as well as a good number of friends and colleagues from the IAPD, allowing us to remain updated on activities from “the other side of the pond.”

It is always a challenge to prepare a comprehensive programme that appeals to all. However, after external presentations from Kent Andersson, Mayor and Chairman of the Malmö City Council, and industry-related talks from François de Bie and Dr Peter Michel, combined with a number of talks from EPDA members covering a range of topics relevant to our industry, the Friday business meeting went well. The Gala dinner is always a highlight and this time it was held in the Malmö Stock Exchange, a light and airy venue, where we enjoyed plenty of engaging conversations and fun. In addition, the event raised significant funds for a most worthy charitable concern, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). EORTC was chosen as a tribute to Dr Rudolf Klepsch, founder of Zell-Metall GmbH, and his on-going fight with cancer. EPDA members agree this is a worthy cause and a fitting way to honour Dr Klepsch, a past president of EPDA, for his service to the association.

If you would like to make a donation to EORTC please use this link: http://www.eortc.org/donate and ensure you add the reference “EPDA Donation” to your donation. Please also notify EPDA staff of your donation so we may keep track of the total funds raised.

Saturday saw a few early departures. Yet, the programme seemed to get better and better with the inaugural round table discussions and manufacturer and distributor council meetings.

The festivities were rounded off by what has to be one of the best ever optional dinners where 24 of us celebrated the conclusion to the 41st Annual EPDA Conference in traditional Scandinavian/Nordic style at Rådhuskällaren restaurant.

Board Composition Update

At the conference I was able to say a fond farewell to both Alar Künnapuu and Tan Ali, who having served valuable time on the Board, allowed for some new blood. After a unanimous ballot, I would like to welcome that new blood, in the guise of Lari Hahtonen and Stefan Willing, both of whom were duly elected to serve a two-year term as Board members. In my previous president’s message, I made a plea for distributor members to come forward to stand for election and as a consequence we now have a healthy listing of potential candidates likely to stand in the coming years. However, there is not a lot of interest from members to assume the presidency role. Therefore, the Board will explore other options as to how we might cover that important leadership position from May 2015 onward. In the interim, to maintain continuity until an alternative candidate can be found, both Steffen Oellers and I volunteered, and were duly elected, to stand for a further one-year term in our current positions. If you would like to know more about what is involved in any Board role please do not hesitate to contact Jackie Driss Laurent or any Board member for help.

Dues Restructure

For some time, I have advocated that a complimentary delegate should be an integral part of the distributor membership. The Board has collectively been concerned over the lack of attendance by distributor members at the association’s key networking event, the annual conference, as this, too, is unhealthy for manufacturer members. With unanimous support of the Board, including Lari and Stefan, I was pleased to submit a ballot at the 2014 Conference to restructure the dues starting in January 2015. The dues are designed to add greater value to both distributor and manufacturer groups by encouraging a greater level of engagement of existing members and is an added incentive to entice new members to join. I am pleased to say that the ballot passed with an almost unanimous YES vote (only one NO vote was recorded).

Therefore, with effect from 1st Jan 2015, the membership dues will be restructured as below:

  • Distributor members – Dues will increase 3 percent to €1384 but will include one complimentary attendee at the Annual Conference
  • Manufacturer members – Dues will increase to €1950, will not include a complimentary delegate at the annual conference but will include a complimentary table top

The 2015 conference is to be held in Barcelona, Spain. Block your diaries now! I look forward to an impressive turnout of distributor and manufacturer members and a comprehensive showing at the table tops from our manufacturer members. Let us work together to make Barcelona a conference to be remembered.

Other Business

The process to appoint a new association management company is well underway with a shortlist of candidates and second interviews planned. The Board hopes to make an announcement to membership no later than the Q3 newsletter.

The affiliation to IAPD for 2015 onwards is also in negotiation and this will be resolved before the year’s end. In the interim, you will see no change in the services offered. Access to webinars, training materials, the IAPD convention and The IAPD Magazine will continue as before.

Until the September newsletter, I wish your every success and I hope you find the remaining articles in this newsletter of interest.

My best regards
David Ladyman
EPDA President

Quadrant Achieves Industry First with AS9100C Accrediation for its Plastic Shapes and Parts Production

Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (EPP), the global leader of machinable plastics, announces the successful completion of AS9100C certification for its Belgium and UK locations serving the global aerospace industry. This significant achievement makes Quadrant the first manufacturer to offer AS9100C compliant engineering plastic stock shapes, further strengthening its long-term support for customers in this sector.

AS9100C is the recent update to the widely-adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry – EN 9100. The international standard specifies the requirements for a quality management system of organizations that design, develop, produce, market or distribute products for the aerospace industry.

Certification of Quadrant’s site and Technical Center in Tielt, Belgium, and its UK Todmorden location is the latest milestone in Quadrant’s commitment to meet the sector’s increasing need for reliable quality management from its global supply chain. Quadrant develops and supplies stock shapes and machined parts from the qualified facilities. Its AS9100C registration includes design & development, manufacturing, machining, warehousing, sales, marketing and distribution of engineering plastics and components for aviation, space and defense applications.

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SIMONA AG to Acquire Boltaron Performance Products, LLC

SIMONA AG has entered into an agreement to acquire the business operations of Boltaron Performance Products, LLC, Newscomerstown, OH, USA.

Boltaron Performance Products, LLC is a leading North American producer of thermoplastic sheet products for components used in aircraft and mass-transit vehicle interiors as well as for applications within the construction, chemical process and semi-conductor industries. Boltaron’s manufacturing facility brings together extrusion, calendering and press laminating under one roof. Employing 90 people, the company generates annual sales of approximately USD 30 million.

In acquiring the company, SIMONA AG has reaffirmed its strategy of expansion through targeted acquisitions in the important United States plastics market as well as its commitment to unlocking new fields of application. In January 2014, SIMONA AMERICA acquired the plastics manufacturer Laminations Inc., based in Archbald, PA, USA. The SIMONA AMERICA Group, comprising the companies SIMONA AMERICA, Laminations and Boltaron Performance Products, LLC, generates annual sales of approximately USD 90 million and employs more than 250 people.

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Market Study: Bags and Sacks – Europe

Analysts at Ceresana forecast sales volume of bags and sacks in Europe to amount to approx. 9.12 million tonnes in 2020. This study covers the market for bags and sacks manufactured from polyethylene (PE) films, other plastic films, woven plastics and paper. PE is the by far most common material for the production of bags and sacks. However, individual materials may account for highly different market shares in various applications. This report splits the market into the segments carrier bags, garbage bags and sacks, heavy duty and industry sacks, food packaging (including beverages) and others.

EU Combating One-Way Carrier Bags

The problem of one-way carrier bags made from plastic is not equally severe in all European countries. Besides per capita consumption and amount of reuse, negative effects on the environment also depend on the quality of the national waste management industry and the respective disposal and recycling systems. The EU Commission stipulated the objective to reduce consumption of plastic carrier bags. An amendment of the corresponding directive 94/62/EG is supposed to allow for a national ban on certain types of carrier bags.

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Hot and Cold Water Pipes – The European Market

In 2013, almost 1.4 million kilometres of hot and cold water pipe were installed in Europe, according to the new edition of the M178 PR chartstudy “Hot & Cold Water Pipes – the European Market,” which has just been completed by Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI Consulting).

Circa 41 percent of the total volume of pipe is used for water plumbing, with the balance split mainly between radiator connections and pipes used for surface heating and cooling – primarily in underfloor heating systems. For the first time in this edition, district heating pipes have also been included in the study.

Plastics continue to gain market share from copper and steel but the performance of the various plastic-based pipe systems is unequal – and it also varies from one geo-economic region to another.

Between 2007 and 2013, the European demand for Hot & Cold Water Pipes has lost a quarter of its volume. 2014 is expected to show only marginal growth but this will be the compounded result of quite different performances in the various regions of Europe. More sustained growth is likely to resume in 2015, subject to a continuation of the incipient economic recovery.

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