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A technical publication devoted to readers in the bulk solids market, worldwide.

January 22, 2018

CAMDEN, SC — Nordic Air Filtration, a filter manufacturer owned by Hengst Filtration, will begin production in the US in the first quarter of 2018 at a Hengst-owned production facility in Camden. Nordic Air Filtration has been procuring manufacturing equipment and has begun setting up production in Camden for the past year. Nordic Air Filtration already has locations in Germany, China, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, and the US and manufactures filters for resellers, end-users, and original equipment manufacturers throughout the world. Nordic will keep its sales office and warehouse facility in Chicago, IL.

January 22, 2018

STADTBERGEN, Germany — Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH has announced that it is launching a line of depowdering systems for use in additive manufacturing (AM). The systems remove excess unmelted metal powder in powder-bed fusion systems by applying systematic rotation and controlled vibration to the laser-melted metal parts. This process releases powder trapped in voids and internal channels around and inside the parts. According to the company’s founders, the systems were created to speed up AM metal parts production, where more than 70 percent of the manufacturing costs can be attributed to pre- and post-processes. The system’s standard version can remove hazardous metal dust by extraction, while an inert-gas version can be used with high explosive risk powders, such as titanium and aluminum. The unfused powder is collected in a specially designed container for further processing or reuse. Solukon makes peripheral post-processing equipment for AM technologies.

January 19, 2018

HELSINKI, Finland — Metso Corp., Helsinki, has acquired Australia-based wear lining solutions provider Wearx. Wearx’s headquarters are in Newcastle, Australia, and the company employs about 140 workers in that country, with operations in Ballina, Orange, and Perth. According to Nico Delvaux, president and CEO of Metso, “Joining forces with Wearx gives us the opportunity to strengthen our position in the wear lining business and extends our offering for our Australian customers.” Metso is an industrial company serving the mining, aggregates, recycling, pulp, paper, and process industries.

January 18, 2018

DALLAS, TX — The potash fertilizer market is expected to grow from a $21.6 billion value in 2017 to $26.87 billion by 2022, registering a 4.47 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The report Potash Fertilizers Market by Type (Potassium Chloride, Sulfate of Potash, Potassium Nitrate), Crop Type (Cereals & Grains, Oilseeds & Pulses, Fruits & Vegetables), Application Method, Form, and Region — Global Forecast to 2022 by Markets and Markets, a market research firm, predicts that market growth for potash fertilizers can be attributed to the need for higher productivity using limited land area and an increase in applicability of potash fertilizers.

In terms of market share, the potassium chloride segment was estimated to hold the largest market share for potash fertilizers in 2017. This material is used mostly for crops and is also called muriate of potash (MOP). MOP has a high nutrient content and is typically used for field, horticultural, and plantation crops. When comparing application methods for potash fertilizers, the largest segment in 2017 was the broadcasting segment. This application method requires less fertilizer, making it an economical option for large-scale crop producers. The report predicts that this economical application method is one of the major market drivers for the application segment. For more info and to purchase a report for $5,650, visit www.marketsandmarkets.com.

January 17, 2018

DÜSSELDORF, Germany and MILAN, Italy — Interpack and Ipack-Ima have agreed to support each other’s trade fairs in Düsseldorf and Milan and the Italian packaging machinery manufacturers’ association (UCIMA) has agreed to provide support to Messe Düsseldorf’s international events organized under the Interpack Alliance. The cooperation will include communications, such as websites, mailings, brochures, press meetings, and information booths for reciprocal support of Interpack in Düsseldorf, Germany, and Ipack-Ima in Milan, Italy. UCIMA will cooperate to support the international packaging and processing exhibitions of Interpack Alliance in China, India, Iran, and Russia. UCIMA’s companies will be able to promote their technologies in key markets, while strengthening the Interpack Alliance with Italian- and German-made packaging machinery manufacturers. UCIMA will solicit visitors and also organize the Official Italian Group Participants at the Interpack Alliance trade fairs in China, India, Iran, and Russia. Italian exhibitors will be organized by Honegger Garspare Srl., a foreign representative of Messe Düsseldorf for Italy.

Interpack will next be held May 7-13, 2020 in Düsseldorf, Germany, and is held every 3 years for the packaging industry and related process industries. The Interpack Alliance comprises events organized by Messe Düsseldorf that form part of the processing and packaging portfolio, including Upakovka (Moscow), Food Pex (Shanghai), Bulk Pex (Shanghai), PacPro Asia (Shanghai), PacProcess India/IndiaPack and Food Pex India (Mumbai, New Delhi), PacProcess Tehran (Tehran), Components (Düsseldorf), Food Processing & Packaging Exposyum Kenya (Nairobi), IndoPack (Jakarta), and Process Expo (Chicago).

Ipack-Ima will next be held May 29-June 1, 2018 in Milan, Italy, and is held every 3 years for the processing and packaging technologies industries. The event is a joint venture between Ipack Ima Srl., which is owned by UCIMA, and Fiera Milano, an Italian exhibition group.

January 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC’s) Global Chemical Production Regional Index showed solid growth through August 2017 with a slight dip in industry growth caused by the effects of Hurricane Harvey. The index measures chemical production volumes for 33 key nations, subregions, and regions aggregated to the world total. Global chemicals production increased 0.4 percent in August, down from an increase of 0.5 percent in July. The regions that saw the greatest production increases during August were Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. The index was up 3.1 percent year-over-year on a 3-month-moving-average basis and was at 111.5 percent of its average 2012 levels in August (2012 is the index’s base year).

On a product basis, August showed gains in pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, plastic resins, manufactured fibers, coatings, and other specialty chemicals. In year-over-year comparisons coatings, pharmaceuticals, and organic chemicals had the strongest growth, in that order. ACC, Washington, DC, represents chemical companies.

January 15, 2018

VANCOUVER, BC — Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a fiber-reinforced concrete product that can help reinforce structures against seismic activity. The engineered material, called eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), reacts by bending instead of cracking or twisting when subjected to seismic activity. The material has been tested by spraying a 10-millimeter (0.39-inch) layer onto traditionally poured interior concrete walls and subjecting the walls to forces equivalent to a 9.0- to 9.1-magnitude earthquake. The EDCC-treated walls remained intact.

The EDCC material is created by combining cement, polymer-based fibers, fly ash, and other industrial additives. The material is also environmentally sustainable because it uses nearly 70 percent less cement than traditional concrete, with fly ash serving as a substitute material. Fly ash is an industrial waste product created from burning pulverized coal for electric power generation. According to Nemy Banthia, project supervisor, substituting fly ash for cement in EDCC reduces greenhouse gas emissions because the cement industry contributes nearly 7 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. EDCC is already commercially available and is currently being used to reinforce walls at an elementary school in Vancouver, BC, and in Roorkee, India, two earthquake-prone areas. The material is also being used to build resilient homes for First Nations communities in Canada. Other potential uses include pipeline construction, pavement, offshore platforms, blast-resistant structures, and industrial floors.

The research was funded by the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence — IC-IMPACTS.

January 12, 2018

MONROE, NC — Spiroflow Holdings Inc. has announced that David Rose will be the managing director at Spiroflow Automation Solutions Inc. Rose joins the company with experience in operations management, organizational design, and business development in the manufacturing and engineering industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Gannon University in Erie, PA; is a graduate of General Electric’s Manufacturing Training Program; and is certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Spiroflow Automation Solutions, owned by Spiroflow Holdings, is a full-service industrial control, networking, and automation provider with offices in Monroe, NC, Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL, Greer, SC, and Orlando, FL.

January 11, 2018

DANBURY, CT — Praxair Inc., an industrial gas company, has announced that it will provide in-kind grants to select North American universities through its surface technologies business. Grant recipients will receive material and engineering assistance to support metal additive manufacturing (AM) courses and projects from Praxair Surface Technologies (PST). The grants will provide recipients with PST’s TruForm metal powder for AM and material testing and consultation from the company’s team. The grant is called the TruForm AMbition Grant and applications to receive the grant were accepted through December 2017, with winners to be notified by February 28, 2018. PST, Indianapolis, IN, supplies high-performance coatings, materials, and technologies to the aviation, energy, and other industries.

January 10, 2018

IPSWICH, MA — According to reports from Plastics News, in the wake of new recycling waste import restrictions in China, some US companies have started investing in new recycling capacity. The trading and consulting firm GDB International Inc., for example, plans to invest in factories in New Jersey and Ohio to make pellets from recycled plastics that were previously exported to China. Another company, Recology, is exploring how to set up its first plastics factories, which would include extrusion lines for producing plastic pellets. Recology is based in San Francisco, CA, and operates waste management systems on the West Coast. The companies were interviewed at Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH’s technical center in Ipswich, MA.

In July 2017, China announced plans to ban imports on many scrap materials because of environmental concerns even though many Chinese companies rely upon the scrap materials. According to Kathy Xuan, CEO of Parc Corp., a plastics recycling company with locations in Romeoville, IL, and Qingdao, China, demand for recycled pellets remains as strong as before the ban and in some ways, is more intense as China’s large manufacturing industry scrambles for materials that previously could have been bought from Chinese recyclers that reprocessed imported scrap.

While the ban has opened up the possibility for more investment from US companies in plastics recycling capacity domestically, some processors have pointed out that investing in recycling capacity can be problematic because US virgin resin prices are very low, meaning that recycled plastics struggle to compete pricewise within the plastics market.

January 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — OSHA has formed two new alliances with the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to focus on preventing worker exposure to dangers in the grain handling and polyurethane industries. The move is part of the agency’s Alliance Program, in which OSHA partners with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Each alliance seeks to develop compliance assistance tools and resources to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.

The NGFA alliance will focus on preventing exposure hazards related to grain bin entry, machine guarding, respiratory protection, falls, heat exposure, combustible dust, struck-by equipment, and lockout-tagout. The alliance members will share recommended practices and effective approaches for preventing grain handling hazards with OSHA staff and industry health and safety professionals. The alliance will also support and promote educational events related to the industry. NGFA, based in Arlington, VA, is a nonprofit trade association that represents and provides services to grain, feed, and related commercial businesses.

The ACC alliance will focus on how workers in the chemical industry are exposed to diisocyanates and promote safe practices for their use in the polyurethane industry. These chemicals are used as a raw material in polyurethane production, and exposure can cause skin and mucous-membrane irritation, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. The chemicals can also cause asthma and other lung problems. In response to these hazards, the alliance will create a web-based training program on safe chemical use and potential chemical exposure routes; develop a medical surveillance and clinical evaluation technique for workers using the chemical; and call for best practices seminars on health and safety procedures for OSHA, On-Site Consultation, and State Plan staff. ACC, Washington, DC, represents chemical companies and will lead the alliance efforts along with the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) and the Diisocyanates and Aliphatic Diisocyanates panels, which are part of the ACC organization.

January 9, 2018

SALINA, KS — Vortex is celebrating its 40-year anniversary. The company was founded in 1977 by Loren Neil Peterson and his son-in-law, Lee Young. The first product made by the company was the patented Vortex orifice gate, which was designed specifically to handle dry bulk solid materials. The company now has more than 20 different valve designs, including slide gates, diverter valves, iris diaphragms, and loading spouts for use in gravity-flow, dilute-phase, and dense-phase pneumatic conveying applications. The company has representative agents throughout the world and valves installed in more than 20,000 factories in 80 countries.

January 8, 2018

The TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Rule, a provision of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, requires industry reporting of chemicals manufactured or processed in the US over the past 10 years. The reporting will be used to identify what chemical substances on the TSCA inventory are currently active in US commerce. According to the rule, manufacturers are required to notify the EPA of chemical substances on the TSCA inventory that were manufactured during the 10-year time period ending on June 21, 2016. The notices are due from manufacturers on February 7, 2018. The rule also contains a provision to allow notification by processors. The EPA will use these notifications to distinguish active from inactive substances in the TSCA inventory. These notices from processors are due October 5, 2018. The rule also establishes procedures on how to re-designate formerly inactive chemical substances on the TSCA inventory that will be again be in use for commercial purposes.

The EPA will be hosting webinars to assist companies that must submit notices. Find more information on TSCA requirements at www.epa.gov/tsca.

January 5, 2018

PRINCETON, NJ — Alan Lawley, a recipient of the Metal Powder Industries Association (MPIF) Distinguished Service Award, passed away in October. Lawley made significant contributions to research and development in powder metallurgy (PM) and particulate materials. He received a BS in physical metallurgy and a PhD in metallurgy from the University of Birmingham in England. He was the International Journal of Powder Metallurgy‘s editor-in-chief at APMI International, Princeton, NJ, a professional society for individuals in the PM and particulate materials industries, from 1985 to 2015. He also was involved with various other MPIF and APMI events and technical boards and received numerous professional and societal awards, including the MPIF Distinguished Service Award in 1991 and the Kempton H. Roll PM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. MPIF, Princeton, NJ, is the North American trade association formed by the powder metallurgy industry to advance its interests.

January 5, 2018

ROSSLYN, VA — NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI), which measures current North American business conditions, improved for a second month as September’s reading went up to 68.8. Surveyed panel members shifted away from sentiment that the market will remain unchanged. (An index reading above 50 indicates respondents expect industry conditions will be appropriate for expansion.) The share of panel respondents that reported better business conditions also increased 6 points to 50 percent in September. The portion of panelists believing that the market was worse remained stable at 13 percent. The survey also showed that the EBCI for future expectations rose to 75, an increase from 62.5 in August. According to the survey, 63 percent of respondents expected the business environment to improve over the next 6 months, 13 percent expected a decline in industry conditions, and 25 percent expected little change in industry conditions. NEMA represents the electrical manufacturing industry and is headquartered in Rosslyn, VA.

January 4, 2018

MIDLAND, MI – Dow Chemical Co., a subsidiary of DowDupont, has had 20 of its products recognized as award finalists for the 2017 R&D 100 Awards, which are awarded by R&D Magazine. The awards recognize 100 revolutionary technologies introduced in the past year. Among the products recognized is the Fusion flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC), developed by Dow Chemical along with NexGen LLC. FIBCs are used to transport dry bulk solid materials. The newly developed FIBC uses a Fusion heat-sealing process that eliminates the standard hand-sewn bag construction, providing improved functionality and increased sustainability. The current award winners for 2017 can be found at www.rdmag.com. Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI, is a global specialty chemical company.

January 3, 2018

WAYZATA, MN — Cargill Inc. has announced stronger, more targeted sustainability goals for its “Cargill Cocoa Promise” that align more closely with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The company is a major cocoa supplier and has faced concerns about unethical farming practices and other issues in the cocoa trade, for example when cocoa is illegally grown within protected areas in Ivory Coast in Africa. To combat these practices, the company has set goals to eliminate child labor from its supply chain by 2025 and deforestation by 2030. The company has implemented a number of educational programs for its farmers to prevent unethical practices and has partnered with CARE International, a nonprofit that seeks to create economic opportunities for women and open schools for children. The company is close to reaching 100 percent sustainability in some cocoa-producing countries, but in Ghana Cargill has had to set up its own buying company to address the problem with traceability caused by having an intermediary company purchasing the cocoa.

January 3, 2018

Dallas, TX — Triple/S Dynamics Inc. has announced that Kenneth Everill is now president of the conveyor, screener, and separation equipment manufacturer. He holds a BS in general engineering from the US Naval Academy and an MBA with a sales/marketing focus from the University of West Florida. He retired from the US Marine Corps Reserve in 2010 and has more than 20 years of sales and general management experience in the industrial sector with process automation products.

January 2, 2018

NORTHBROOK, IL — Refractory manufacturer and installer Plibrico Co. LLC has opened a new corporate headquarters in Northbrook. The headquarters was previously located in Chicago. The new location offers a larger, more user-friendly space for staff and visitors. According to the company, the new location will provide easy access for customers, partners, and visitors. The location also includes a research and development department and a quality control and testing laboratory and employs refractory engineering specialists.

January 1, 2018

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC — Ingredion Inc., Westchester, IL, has announced that it will expand its North Charleston, SC, location. The company’s $10 million investment will create five new jobs at the site and allow it to double its exports out of the Port of Charleston. The company creates food ingredients from grains, fruits, vegetables, and plant materials for various applications in the paper, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. According to the company, the location in North Charleston is important because the nearby port allows a way for the company to both receive the raw materials needed to produce the ingredients and deliver product to customers.

December 29, 2017

HARTWELL, GA — Nestle Purina PetCare Co. has announced plans to construct a $320 million manufacturing facility and distribution center in Hartwell. The factory will be the company’s first new US factory in 20 years. The company says it plans to add around 240 new jobs in the next 5 years at the location. Distribution center operations are scheduled to begin in 2018 with production to follow in 2019. The company employs nearly 8,000 workers in the US and makes Purina One, Dog Chow, Friskies, Tidy Cats, and Pro Plan products.

December 28, 2017

HARVEY, ND — Firebird Artisan Mills has added two production lines at its facility in Harvey. The company is a full-service, dedicated gluten-free, allergen-free, and non-GMO mill. The new line’s efficiency brings the company’s plant capacity to nearly 7 million pounds. The company produces bulk flours, mixes and blends onsite, as well as packaged goods for both wholesale and retail channels. According to Brady Eckart, director of operations at the plant, the new capacity will allow the company to “have greater flexibility in meeting our customers’ scheduling needs, which is incredibly important as we work for them to help get their products to shelf safely and quickly.”

December 27, 2017

LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Corp. has signed an agreement to sell its Crop Science businesses to BASF for $6.97 billion. The agreement is part of Bayer’s plan to prevent regulatory issues with the planned acquisition of Monsanto in early 2018. Bayer will sell its global glufosinate-ammonium business and the related Libertylink technology for herbicide tolerance, field crop seeds businesses, and research and development capabilities related to these business areas. The deal will also transfer to BASF intellectual property and more than 1,800 employees, who BASF says will remain in permanent full-time positions for at least 3 years after the agreement closing. BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, is a global chemistry company with five primary segments: chemicals, performance products, functional materials and solutions, agricultural solutions, and oil and gas. Bayer is a global life sciences company with a focus on agriculture and health care.

December 27, 2017

AURORA, IL — SternMaid America, a contract manufacturer and copacker, has installed a double-head auger filler to dispense powders into cans. The company also installed peripheral plant components for a total investment of $300,000 for the capacity expansion. The new filler allows the line to fill as many as 50 cans per minute per fill head, resulting in up to 6,000 filled cans per hour. The line can fill and automatically seal cans up to 6 inches in diameter and 3 to 10 inches in height. The company will still be able to use the existing single-head auger filler for other packaging types and to speed up order fulfillment.

December 26, 2017

YANKTON, SD — Dakota Plains Ag Center LLC has opened a $40 million high-speed grain terminal. According to the West Fargo Pioneer, the new site contains six silos with a total storage capacity of 1.2 million bushels of grain and ground storage for nearly 5 million bushels. The site also has access to rail service, which can transport grains to the West Coast. The company expects the grain terminal to handle more than 25 million bushels annually by the fifth year of operation. The site took nearly 17 months to construct and is expected to improve grain prices for farmers and decrease wait times for grain unloading.

December 25, 2017

ALBANY, NY — The global organic fertilizers market was valued at $3.37 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $6.4 billion by 2025, achieving a 7.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This is according to the report Organic Fertilizers Market (Product — Peat Based and Manure Based; Application — Cereals & Grains, Oilseeds & Pulses, and Fruits & Vegetables) — Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017-2025 by Transparency Market Research. The report defines organic fertilizers as products made from natural plant wastes, animal wastes, and minerals. Because the fertilizers are made from organic content, they provide soil micro-organisms that allow plants easy access to nutrients. According to the report analysts, excess use of chemical-based fertilizers has harmful effects on soil, the environment, and human health. For these reasons and others many consumers have shown a preference for organic food, propelling the demand for organic fertilizers much higher. Also driving the market for organic fertilizers are government subsidies for this type of farming; however, organic fertilizers take longer to show results and only provide soil conditioning without plant nourishment.

According to the report, the dominant market segment by product is manure-based organic fertilizers, a segment expected to have the largest market volume and value during the forecast period, growing at a more than 7 percent CAGR. In terms of applications, the use of organic fertilizers on fruits and vegetables is predicted to be a prominent part of the market during the forecast period followed by use to grow cereals and grains. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $5,795, visit www.transparencymarketresearch.com.

December 22, 2017

UZWIL, Switzerland — Bühler Aeroglide’s parent company, Bühler AG, has held a ground-breaking ceremony for its Innovation Campus in Uzwil, which is also the company’s global headquarters. The building’s planned completion is in 2019 and the company will invest about $50 million over 3 years in the new facility.

The center will consist of two key elements: upgraded technology labs and the new innovation building. The new building’s design and upgraded application labs will provide a space for project teams of employees, clients, start-ups, students, and apprentices building a bridge between the engineering and business parts of the company. The building will also have a 300-seat auditorium, a collaboration and “maker space,” a media center, and a co-working floor with open and secured spaces for more than 100 people. The company hopes to foster collaborative innovation with the new center. Bühler Aeroglide, Cary, NC, supplies drying equipment for the bulk solids industry, while Bühler AG supplies processing equipment for grains, foods, and other raw materials.

December 21, 2017

MANHATTAN, KS — The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) and Kansas State University (K-State) have received a $100,000 equipment donation from Grain Systems Inc. (GSI) to support the Hands-On Training (HOT) Program. GSI, a global brand of AGCO, manufactures grain bins, grain dryers, and material handling systems. The equipment donation will provide the interactive program with more equipment to teach grain handling and processing maintenance professionals how to repair and maintain common grain conveying equipment through demonstration, practice, and immediate instructor feedback. The program is scheduled to have a session in December at K-State in the Hal Ross Flour Mill. Participants will receive continuing education units from GEAPS and K-State. More information on the program is available at www.geaps.com. GEAPS, Golden Valley, MN, represents individuals that work in the grain handling and processing industry.

December 20, 2017

PUNE, India — The global market for soda ash is predicted to reach a volume of 64 million tons by 2022, according to the report Global Soda Ash Market: Trends Analysis & Forecasts to 2022 by Infinium Global Research. In 2014, the market was valued at more than $16 billion with a market volume of 55.5 million tons. The report states that the soda ash market should grow with a 6 to 6.5 percent compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2022. Soda ash has major applications in the glass manufacturing industry and comes in three primary grades for various applications, with each grade having a different bulk density, particle size, and particle shape. The material also is important for metallurgical processes, such as removing calcium, phosphorous, and sulphur from ferrous and nonferrous ores, and for recycling applications.

The greatest demand for soda ash is in the glass industry for automotive, commercial, insulation, and other applications, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, where glass demand is high. The largest restraining factor for the soda ash market is that the manufacturing process consumes a lot of energy, which means that energy price fluctuations have a greater impact on production. Soda ash substitutes such as caustic soda, sodium silicate, and some others are also expected to curtail the demand for soda ash during the forecast period. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $4,195, visit www.infiniumglobalresearch.com.

December 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Rail service provider CSX was recently part of a “listening session” before the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) in Washington, DC, as reported by AgProfessional magazine. The session was to address CSX’s recent issues with performance, and industry groups, including the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and The Fertilizer Institute provided testimony. According to various industry organizations and customers, the railroad has had service issues, such as long transit times, unreliable switching operations, inefficient car routings, and poor communications with CSX contacts since the company’s appointment of chief executive officer Hunter Harrison, who has implemented a new strategy for the company called “precision scheduled railroading.” According to Randy Gordon, president of the NGFA, some NGFA members are operating at 70 to 80 percent capacity due to lack of inbound supply, have had to pay for additional freight costs for truck movements, and have accrued “literally millions of dollars of additional shipping costs and lost earnings to our industry.”

CSX has also been cited by Cargill Inc. as a primary reason for two plant shutdowns, with one plant being forced to shut down because there was no crew available to take railcars and a second plant shutting down when CSX failed to send empty railcars for loading. Other companies, including Chemours and Kellogg, cited similar complaints during the session. In response, Harrison apologized to shippers for service disruptions, which he blamed on derailments and internal mistakes, including closing too many yards. The recent issues have resulted in weekly performance reviews of the company by the STB and communication with the company’s senior management. Some stakeholders have also requested that the STB require a service recovery plan from CSX for improved disruption responses along with greater accountability and penalty-enforced deadlines for the company if it fails to improve service.

December 19, 2017

CHANHASSEN, MN — Powder-Solutions Inc. was recognized with an Innovation Award in the dairy category at Process Expo 2017. The company was one of three finalists chosen from nine entries. The Innovations Showcase finalists each presented a 3-minute overview of the innovation highlights in their product. The entries were judged by food processing professionals and attendees were allowed to watch the presentations. Winners were chosen in seven categories, including innovation in bakery, beverage, confectionery, dairy, meat, pet foods, and prepared foods.

Powder-Solutions won in the dairy category for its Magnattack Mag-Ram self-cleaning magnet for dairy powder processing applications. The self-cleaning magnet meets USDA sanitary standards, unlike other magnetic separators in the food and dairy industry. Other features of the unit include that cleaning can be done on a set schedule automatically without the need for maintenance interaction or downtime and no operator handling of potentially dangerous magnets. Powder-Solutions Group, Chanhassen, is the parent company to Powder-Solutions Inc. and Powder Process-Solutions, which manufacture and distribute bulk solids handling equipment for various applications, including magnetic separation, pneumatic conveying, mixing and blending, size reduction, and others.

December 18, 2017

HELSINKI, Finland — Metso Corp. has added Holt Cat as a distributor for Metso’s crushing and screening products in the contractor and recycling segments. The distributor will cover customers in 118 counties in south, central, north, and east Texas. Holt Cat has industry experience in the region and works with customers in the construction, mining, petroleum, and agricultural industries. Metso, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, is an industrial company serving the mining aggregates, recycling, oil, gas, pulp, paper, and process industries.

December 18, 2017

BLAINE, MN — In February 2016, Kyle Flicker received third-degree burns from a rubber dust explosion in a Blaine factory where he was grinding rubber material. According to reports, after seeing embers from a small fire get sucked into the area’s ventilation system, he went into the system’s collection room outside the main building to make sure that nothing was burning there. The action of opening the door to the room caused combustible rubber dust to become airborne. Flicker then climbed a ladder to attempt to brush aside the ember. This caused a spark and explosion fed by the dust particles suspended in the air. A fellow worker was able to pull Flicker out of the room, but Flicker had burns on 75 percent of his body and was in a medically induced coma for 159 days as a result of the accident.

Flicker has since been unable to work and is still recovering from the accident. He says that if he’d been aware of the danger posed by the rubber dust, he would never have entered the dust collection room. He’s now suing the companies that supplied the rubber material to the plant, claiming that they didn’t alert his employer of the material’s danger. Flicker isn’t suing his employer because he says they weren’t aware that the rubber dust was an explosive material; however, OSHA had previously fined the company for not having an adequate venting system installed to prevent explosion hazards.

December 15, 2017

BURLESON, TX — KWS Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has raised more than $200,000 for its employee assistance program and has helped 19 individuals with financial assistance in times of need. The Compassion, Action, Respect, Esteem, and Support (CARES) program was created by KWS to provide financial help for employees facing a life crisis. Employees at the company can donate vacation time and money to the CARES fund and the company will match each dollar donated — including vacation time, which is converted into dollars — with a $3 donation. The company, Burleson, TX, manufactures conveying equipment for bulk solid material handling.

December 14, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The global industrial insulation market is forecast to reach $19.45 billion by 2025, growing at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to the report Industrial Insulation Market Analysis by Product (Stone Wool, Glass Wool, CMS Fibers, Calcium Silicate, Foamed Plastic, Aerogel, Micro Silica), by Application (Power Generation, Petrochemical, EIP Industries, LNG/LPG), and Segment Forecasts, 2014-2025 by Grand View Research Inc. Industrial insulation provides an energy-efficient and economical design to industrial equipment and construction, nullifying the need for a heating system and reducing operating costs. Foamed plastics are widely used for preventing heating and cooling losses and improving efficiency of equipment used in end-use industries. Drivers for the insulation market include rising energy prices and the growing importance of energy-efficient industrial infrastructure.

The industrial insulation market is expected to also have challenges, such as stringent regulations on blowing agents including phenolic and polyurethane foams, which contain ozone depleting substances that pose environmental risks. The market is also capital intensive for manufacturers, making entry difficult for new companies without the time, resources, and planning to achieve the economies of scale necessary for success. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $4,950, visit www.grandviewresearch.com.

December 13, 2017

TUCKAHOE, NY — Elcan Industries Inc. has announced that it’s celebrating the company’s 25-year anniversary. The company began operations in a small warehouse in New Rochelle, NY, and now has facilities in Tuckahoe with state-of-the-art test lab, toll processing, and sales and support operations. The company specializes in developing screening solutions for cost-effective manufacturing for any volume of difficult-to-produce, contaminated, or newly developed dry bulk materials.

December 12, 2017

MULHOUSE, France — Researchers at the Institut de Science des Materiaux de Mulhouse have found a way to reuse olive mill wastewater (OMW), changing the pollutant into sustainable products for practical use. OMW is created when olive growers produce olive oil, which requires olives to be crushed and mixed with water in mills. The by-product has been a source of pollution for Mediterranean countries because the OMW couldn’t be used and was difficult to dispose of responsibly.

Mejdi Jeguirim and colleagues have come up with a way to convert OMW into “green” biofuel, biofertilizer, and water that’s safe for use in agricultural irrigation. To convert the OMW into usable products, the researchers embedded it into cypress sawdust, another common Mediterranean waste product. Then they rapidly dried this mixture and collected the evaporated water, which is safe for use in crop irrigation. The researchers then took the OMW-sawdust mixture and subjected it to pyrolysis, a process in which organic material is exposed to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Without oxygen, combustion can’t occur but the material thermally decomposes into combustible gases and charcoal. The combustible gases can be condensed into bio-oil, which in turn can be used as a heat source for the OMW-sawdust drying and the pyrolysis process. The charcoal pellets, which contain potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, and other nutrients extracted from the breakdown of the OMW-sawdust mixture can then be used as biofertilizers. The researchers found that the pellets significantly improved plant growth after a 5-week period compared to vegetation without the pellets.

The study “Olive Mill Wastewater: From a Pollutant to Green Fuels, Agricultural Water Source and Biofertilizer” was published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. The authors acknowledge funding from the PHC Utique program of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Higher Education and Research; the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the GEDURE project; and the MICA Carnot Institute.

December 11, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO — Schenck Process GmbH, a weighing, feeding, conveying, and filtration equipment supplier with US offices in Kansas City is being sold to Blackstone, a private investment firm, by IK Investment Partners, a private equity firm. Schenck, with more than 2,300 employees and operations in Europe, North and South America, China, India, and Australia, serves customers in the food, chemicals, mining, and construction industries. While held by IK Investment Partners, Schenck shifted its focus from being a mechanical manufacturer to being a service and integrated solutions provider and achieved growth with new products and acquisitions.

December 8, 2017

ERIE, PA — Eriez celebrated its 75-year anniversary in 2017 at the company’s business conference. Held in October, the conference drew together the company’s executives, management personnel, and members of the engineering team as well as representatives from sales offices around the world. The company used the conference to discuss future strategies for products and operations within the company. The company supplies magnetic lift, separation, metal detection, and material handling equipment.

December 7, 2017

SARASOTA, FL — MoistTech Corp., a moisture measurement equipment supplier, has moved into larger offices in Sarasota. The 8,000-square-foot facility will allow the company to accommodate its sales team, marketing efforts, lab and sample testing facilities, and its calibration department. The company cites greater demand from clients as the reason for investing in the new location.

December 7, 2017

DARLINGTON, England — Vortex Global Ltd., has received the Materials Handling Engineers’ Association (MHEA) Excellence Award for Supplier of the Year. The solids and bulk handling components company with offices in Darlington was shortlisted for the award after being nominated by LeBlansch Bulkhandling Equipment BV, for Vortex’s efforts on a recent project with PPG Industries. The award recognizes companies that have made significant impact on customer successes through outstanding customer service, robust product offerings, and excellent product quality, or that have exceeded expectations in the bulk materials handling industry. The award was presented during Bulkex 2017, a 2-day conference and exhibition organized by MHEA for professionals and organizations in the bulk handling industries. MHEA supports the technical and commercial interests of UK and overseas companies supplying and using bulk handling equipment.

December 6, 2017

MARIETTA, OH — Mole-Master Services Corp. has announced an updated website with a focus on customer service and support. The new site features streamlined navigation, more information on industry-specific silo cleaning applications, more detailed visuals for silo cleaning services and equipment. Since its launch, the company says that visitors are spending more time at the site, which is www.molemaster.com. Mole-Master is a silo and bin cleaning equipment and services company.

December 5, 2017

ENID, OK — ADM Milling Co. has announced that its Enid flour mill will undergo a major modernization. The company will replace two milling units currently operating with a single, highly automated milling unit. The flour mill has been in operation for decades and according to the 2017 Grain Milling Annual currently supplies 18,000 hundredweights of flour daily — both bulk and packaged in 5-pound bags. The company will also install a new high-speed packer. The company predicts that the retrofit will take a year to complete once construction begins, which is set to happen in the near future. The mill will continue to operate while the project is underway.

December 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), Ottawa, ON, are collaborating to enhance safe chemical product management across the supply chain through the Responsible Care program, which is the global chemical industry’s signature environment, health, safety, and security performance initiative. The program was adopted in both countries in the 1980s and requires mandatory verification and certification processes, providing accountability for member companies.

The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which states that the CIAC will adopt the ACC Responsible Care Management System certification model as an option for its members to fulfill their CIAC verification requirement. The option expands the certification options for CIAC and ACC members who may have facilities in both countries.

December 1, 2017

LAUFENBURG, Germany — H.C. Starck has announced that its Surface Technology (Laufenburg) and Ceramic Powders (Goslar, Germany) are introducing the Amperprint range of gas atomized metal powders, which are powders specifically designed for additive manufacturing. The powders can be nickel-, cobalt-, and iron-based or customized to suit specific applications. In addition to the new powders, the company announced that it will implement a new logistical process to ensure fast delivery by having standard alloys kept in stock beginning in late 2017. The company is also launching a website dedicated to the new products, www.amperprint.com. H.C. Starck supplies refractory technology, metals, and technical ceramics.

November 30, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH — The global demand for kaolin is predicted to grow 2.1 percent annually, reaching 30.3 million tons in 2020 with a value of $4.1 billion. This is according to the report World Kaolin by Freedonia Group, an industry research firm. The report says that market gains will be driven by manufacturing activity expansion in developing countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Africa-Mideast regions. Market constraints are expected to stem from a contraction in the paper markets in North America and Western Europe as consumers use more digital media and kaolin-intensive coated paper products demand goes down.

The paper market is the largest global user of kaolin and will account for more than one-third of global demand in 2020, according to the report. However, the paper market has declined significantly since 2005 when kaolin paper production accounted for nearly half of kaolin consumption. Though production of uncoated paper and paperboard grew between 2005 and 2015, output of coated paper products (for which kaolin is used in greater amounts than uncoated products) declined. This trend resulted in a lower demand for kaolin. Alternate materials, like calcium carbonate, are becoming more important for paper coating, which also contributes to a decline in kaolin usage.

Demand for kaolin in ceramics production, the second largest market, grew because of greater ceramic proppant demand for hydraulic fracturing applications in the US. However, the fall in global oil prices beginning in 2015 has reduced demand for kaolin. Any gains in the kaolin market attributable to the proppant market aren’t expected to be seen again through 2020. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $6,200, visit www.freedoniagroup.com.

November 30, 2017

CINCINNATI, OH — Rotex has introduced a new and improved website with the goal to provide visitors with an interactive way to learn about the company’s screening and separating equipment. The website includes new 3-D animated product videos, information on aftermarket parts and services, and the online parts store. According to the company, the website will be regularly updated with helpful information, newsletters, and company announcements.

November 29, 2017

ARLINGTON, VA — The US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that for the third consecutive year no US mining operation met the criteria for a “Pattern of Violations” notice. The US, which has more than 13,000 mining operations, has not used the enforcement tool, which is for mines that pose the greatest risk to mine worker safety and health, particularly those mines with chronic violation records. According to Patricia W. Silvey, deputy assistant secretary of labor for MSHA, “A number of mine operators have proactively implemented corrective action programs to address specific hazards at their mines to improve miner safety and health, and those efforts are paying off.” MSHA works to prevent death, injury, and illness from mining and promote healthful workplaces for US miners.

November 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — OSHA decided to end regulatory efforts underway for worker exposure to combustible dust, construction noise, vehicles backing up in factories and construction sites, and another regulation involving how the agency adopts permissible exposure limits for chemicals. OSHA released its spring regulatory agenda in July, which said that because of resource constraints and other priorities, that rulemakings for the workplace protection mentioned will not be pursued. The agenda also contained no new rulemakings on workplace protections. The change in OSHA’s agenda is attributed to President Trump’s campaign promises to roll back regulations.

In response to the agenda, business interests were very pleased. Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy for the US Chamber of Commerce told Bloomberg BNA that the new OSHA agenda shows “that the agency is taking a responsible approach to regulating and trying to focus on those areas where there is the most need, and to do so in a way that respects the various interests at stake.” The agenda still includes some industry-supported items, such as one to modernize powered industrial trucks, and others that have been moved to a long-term priority list for future rulemaking.

November 27, 2017

RESTON, VA — PMMI — The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies has announced that Laura Thompson will be its senior director of expositions. Thompson replaces Jim Pittas, who has been promoted to chief operating officer at PMMI. She has been with the organization for 19 years and held various positions within the show department. In her new role, she’ll oversee PMMI’s show department, including all aspects of sales, promotions, and operations for both international and domestic trade shows. The organization represents North American manufacturers of equipment, components, and materials for processing and packaging.

November 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The EPA announced in early June that the effective implementation date of the Risk Management Program (RMP), an Obama-era chemical safety rule, will be further delayed until February 19, 2019. According to Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s administrator, “We are seeking additional time to review the program so that we can fully evaluate the public comments raised by multiple petitioners and consider other issues that may benefit from additional public input.”

The EPA initially delayed the regulation in March after discussions with businesses concerned about the rule’s implementation. The rule was created as the result of a 2013 chemical explosion in West, TX, which killed 15 people, many of whom were first responders. The rule would require better accident preparedness and expand the EPA’s investigative and auditing powers. Chemical companies contended in a letter to Pruitt in February that the rule would cause “significant security concerns and compliance issues that will cause irreparable harm.”

After the announced delay, 11 state attorneys general filed suit to block the delay. The suit is one of several by various groups opposing regulatory changes implemented by the Trump administration. In opposition to those groups, 12 other states have filed legal arguments supporting the implementation delay, a move which is also supported by industry groups such as the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The community groups and unions filing suit to end the delay contend that Pruitt’s delay violates the Clean Air Act.

Pruitt was also questioned about the RMP rule delay after the recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The flooding in Crosby, TX, at an Arkema plant caused explosions and necessitated controlled burning at the facility, which housed organic peroxides requiring refrigeration. Critics cite the situation as one in which the rule may have helped first responders avoid injury while battling the fires. According to Pruitt, he supports the risk management plan required by the rule but simply wants more time to revise it to prevent misuse of the data by terrorists. He also indicated that Arkema may have violated existing risk management plan regulations, which would have required redundant systems to maintain refrigeration at the plant in the event of an emergency. Currently, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is investigating the explosions, though the findings of that investigation won’t be released for some time, and the CSB, itself, is facing potential funding elimination under the Trump administration’s proposed budget.

November 23, 2017

MALVERN, PA — Saint-Gobain announced that it’s building a new flat glass production line in Saltillo, Mexico. The company plans for the plant to be operational in 2020 to serve the automotive and construction industries, particularly in Central America, the Caribbean, and North America. Currently, the company has a manufacturing base in Mexico, including a plant in Cuautla for flat glass and various other products such as abrasives and high-performance plastics.

November 22, 2017

ARLINGTON, VA — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has announced that Paul Davis has joined the organization as its new director of quality, animal food safety, and education. Davis oversees the organization’s Safe Feed/Safe Food certification programs and education and training courses. Courses include Preventive Controls Qualified Individual training, the Kansas State University 500 Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing course, any plant training, and a new animal food safety summit being planned. He’ll also work with the legislative and regulatory team on issues related to the Food Safety Modernization Act and serve as the staff contact for the AFIA’s Quality Committee. He holds a PhD in animal sciences and a master’s degrees in animal science and food and resource economics from the University of Florida. AFIA, Arlington, VA, represents the business, legislative, and regulatory interests of the US animal feed industry and its suppliers.