PBE Home

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

July 27, 2017

SALINA, KS — Vortex Global Ltd., a solids and bulk material handling components company headquartered in Salina, KS, with a branch in Darlington, UK, has won the Solids Handling and Processing Association (SHAPA) 2017 Solids Handling Industry Company of the Year Award. SHAPA, which is a specialist association for the solids handling and processing industry based in the UK, recognizes companies that have demonstrated achievement, improved sales success, or deployed of industry best practices. Companies can enter the awards if they are UK-registered and in the solids handling and processing industry. Vortex was recognized for its rapid growth in size and sales. The company realized 44 percent growth in 2016, due in part, to expanding its sales portfolio, with loading spouts being the fastest growing portion of that portfolio.

July 26, 2017

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil have been researching the potential for jackfruit seeds to act as a chocolate substitute. Chocolate yield annually is around 3.7 million tons, but demand for the commodity suggests that worldwide demand for chocolate beans will reach 4.5 million tons by 2020. To meet the growing demand, scientists have been investigating potential alternative sources that can mimic chocolate’s distinct aroma and flavor. One potential possibility is the jackfruit, which grows in South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The seeds can be boiled, steamed, and roasted before eating, providing fiber, protein, and minerals at a low cost. In Brazil, jackfruit seeds are considered a waste product, but scientists wanted to determine if any of the fruit’s compounds could product chocolate aromas.

Researchers Fernanda Papa Spada, Jane K. Parker, Solange Guidolin, Canniatti Brazaca, and colleagues made 27 jackfruit seed flours by acidifying or fermenting the seeds prior to drying. They roasted the flours for various times and temperatures using processes that are usually used to enhance the chocolate flavor in cocoa beans. Volunteers were then asked to smell the jackfruit seed flours and describe the aromas. The fermented flours were found to have more positive attributes, such as caramel, hazelnut, or fruity aromas. The researchers have concluded that jackfruit seeds are capable of producing chocolate aromas and are a potential replacement for the aroma of cocoa powder or chocolate.

The study “Optimization of Postharvest Conditions to Produce Chocolate Aroma from Jackfruit Seeds,” was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The study authors also acknowledge funding from the National Council of Technological and Scientific and Research Foundation.

July 25, 2017

ARLINGTON, VA — The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) has announced that David Doles, senior vice president, Lonza, has been elected chairman of the association’s board of governors. Doles has served in various roles as part of the SOCMA board of governors and executive committee. With Doles taking on his new role, several members are moving up in the ranks to serve in new leadership roles. The officer lineup is now: first vice chair, Gene Williams, Optima Chemical Group LLC; second vice chair and treasurer, Michael Ott, Polysciences Inc.; secretary, Kate Donahue, Hampford Research Inc.; immediate past chair, J. Steel Hutchinson, GFS Chemicals Inc.; and member-at-large, John Foley, KMCO LLC. SOCMA, Arlington, VA, represents small, medium, and large chemical companies.

July 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — In March, the EPA stated that it was delaying the effective date of finalized amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) — and therefore implementation of the RMP final rule — until June 19, 2017. The agency said it took the action to respond to requests for reconsidering and staying the rule. The RMP rule is part of the Clean Air Act and requires that the EPA publish regulations and guidance for chemical accident prevention at facilities that use specific hazardous substances. The RMP regulations require owners or operators of covered facilities to implement a risk management program and to submit a risk management plan to the EPA.

In April, the EPA published a proposed rule to further delay the RMP rule amendments’ effective date to February 19, 2019. The EPA wants time to consider several petitions regarding the rule. Various industry groups are happy at the implementation delay, while public interest organizations have criticized the move. In addition to the effective date delay, the rule could also be eliminated if Congress passes a joint resolution to overturn it under the Congressional Review Act, a procedure that lets legislators block the rule using a simple majority vote.

The delays were questioned by House Energy and Commerce Committee democrats, who sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) saying the delay is improper and not allowed under the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. The letter also requested that the OMB withdraw the final rule, as well as others, and reissue them with 30-day public comment periods and that the OMB turn over all emails and communications between EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, EPA political appointees, and staff at seven industry trade associations. However, according to OMB spokesperson Coalter Baker, the agency lacks the legal authority to do what the lawmakers have requested.

July 21, 2017

MUNICH, Germany — H.C. Starck, a manufacturer of customer-specific powders and components made from technology metals and advanced ceramics, has predicted the company’s core markets will see a sustained recovery in 2017 after weak sales the prior year. According to the company, the market was difficult in 2016 and raw material prices decreased. The company has created a new corporate legal structure for its three powder divisions as part of its future business strategy. Each division now has independence and flexibility to respond to the different market it serves. The company now has a Tungsten Powders division, a Tantalum/Niobium Powders division, and a Surface Technology & Ceramic Powders division.

July 20, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — Kingsly Ambrose, Purdue University researcher and assistant professor in agricultural and biological engineering, has partnered with scientific equipment manufacturing company Anton Paar to begin research on how particle size, shape, and surface chemistry affect material flow and binding. Anton Paar has donated the MCR 502 rheometer to the university, and, as Ambrose performs research, the company will be able to gain useful data on particles. The rheometer, which was initially designed to analyze fluids, underwent modifications that enable it to measure the flow characteristics of very fine powders, such as cornstarch. The company will gather data on how the research team uses equipment to improve the design and manufacturing processes. The stated goal of the partnership is to discover new measurement techniques and to gain a fundamental understanding of complex powder flow problems. Anton Paar’s US headquarters are located in Ashland, VA, and the research for the collaboration will take place at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

July 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — OSHA has announced that it will consider applications from nonprofit organizations interested in providing instructor-led classes on occupational safety and health as part of the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers Program. The national program serves public and private sector employers, supervisors, and workers within OSHA’s jurisdiction. The program was initiated in 1992, and in the past decade has helped to train more than 250,000 students. Applications were due by June 30, 2017, and organizations will be selected based on the applicants’ qualifications, ability to serve regional populations, and OSHA’s training needs. OSHA ensures that employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.

July 18, 2017

CHICAGO, IL — Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, SC, a polymer-bound colorants and additives supplier, has acquired Keystone Aniline Corp., a dyes, pigments, pigment dispersions, and polymers supplier based in Chicago, IL. The acquisition will allow the merged companies to offer a broad range of advanced colorant solutions, technologies, and services. The merger will also improve Milliken’s supply capabilities because of additional facility locations around the world.

July 17, 2017

FRANKFURT, Germany — Achema 2018 organizers are now accepting contributions to the event’s congress program and PRAXISforums. The event will take place in Frankfurt, Germany, June 11-15, 2018.

The Achema Congress focuses on chemical and process engineering as well as biotechnology themes. Congress topics include analytics, energy supply, process design, reaction technology, and safety, among others. Focal topics include biotech for chemistry, flexible production, and chemical and pharmaceutical logistics.

The Achema PRAXISforums focus on industrial applications, trends, new products, and services in chemical engineering, biotechnology, and the process industry. Market- and practice-oriented topics are presented in a concise format. Forums are held in the immediate vicinity of the respective exhibition group.

Scientists from industry and research institutions are invited to submit their papers until September 22, 2017, at www.achema.de/congress.

July 14, 2017

ORLANDO, FL — Organizers for the World Congress of Particle Technology 8, taking place April 22-26, 2018, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, FL, have announced that abstract submissions for the education poster session can now be submitted. George E. Klinzing, University of Pittsburgh, and Mayank Kashyap, SABIC, are the event’s lead organizers and are inviting poster presentations concentrating on programs in particle technology education around the world. Abstracts can be submitted from May 1, 2017, to August 21, 2017, at www.wcpt8.org
www.wcpt8.org or www.aiche.org/wcpt8.

July 13, 2017

JONESBORO, AR — FMH Conveyors Americas, a Duravant company, has opened a facility in Jonesboro to house all manufacturing processes. The new location combines the capabilities from the company’s previous three location in Suwanee, GA, Hampton, VA, and Jonesboro, AR. According to Kurt Huelsman, president of FMH Conveyors, “Opening the new Jonesboro, Arkansas, facility combines our manufacturing and engineering resources in one central location and gives us the opportunity to rely on the expertise of our employees.” The company provides flexible and extendable truck loading and unloading conveyors.

July 12, 2017

FREDERICK, MD — U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. has announced its acquisition of a manufacturer and distributor of cool roof granules, a division of National Coatings Corp. The company’s cool roof granules are a treated kaolin product used in industrial roofing systems that provides solar reflectance and higher thermal emittance than standard designed roofing products. The system reduces energy usage and enhances the roof’s durability. U.S. Silica will acquire patent and intellectual rights to the product along with supplier and customer relationship information. U.S. Silica produces commercial silica used in the oil and gas industry and in various industrial applications.

July 11, 2017

AKRON, OH — A. Schulman Inc., a global high-performance plastic compounds, powders, composites, and resins supplier, announced it will increase its production capacity for color masterbatches in Europe. The company is planning to add three additional extruders in its Hungary, Italy, and Poland facilities. The greater capacity will help the company meet market demand for color masterbatches in the region. The company previously announced new masterbatch plant investments in China and Turkey.

July 10, 2017

SANDERSVILLE, GA — Thiele Kaolin Co. announced the acquisition of Short Mountain Silica’s (SMS’s) silica and trucking operations. SMS produces high-purity silica for the industrial and consumer markets and has manufacturing operations located in Mooresburg, TN. Thiele Kaolin says that the acquisition will diversify its business and provide shareholder value. Thiele Kaolin mines, processes, blends, and delivers kaolin clay.

July 7, 2017

LUDWIGSCHAFEN, Germany — BASF, a global chemical company, has announced it will double methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) capacity at the company’s plant in Geismer, LA. The plant will increase capacity from about 330,000 to 660,000 tons annually in a series of steps beginning in 2020. The engineering process for the expansion has already begun, but construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2018.

July 6, 2017

URBANDALE, IA — Catalyst’s Midwest premix manufacturing facility in Urbandale has been certified as organic. The certification means that the company will be one of only a few in the Midwest to offer premix services and private label organic services. Jos Zamzow, the company’s chief operating officer, says that “the market reality is that there are very few companies that offer organic premixes and feed additives in Iowa and the demand is very high.” The company provides custom formulation and manufacturing services for the livestock, poultry, pet, wildlife, and aquaculture industries. The organic certification is from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The company has already received the American-Feed-Industry-Association-administered Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification.

July 5, 2017

MUTTENZ, Switzerland — Global specialty materials supplier Clariant plans to expand medical compounds production at its Lewiston, ME, plant. The company will install a new compounding line to meet demand for precolored medical plastic compounds. The line will come on-line in the fourth quarter of 2017 and will be able to produce larger batch sizes at high throughput rates. Compound materials produced at the site will include polyolefins, ABS, polycarbonate (PC), and PC alloys as well as specialty resins. The compounds will be supplied under the Mevopur brand name and are for medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging applications.

July 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that governs the use of conflict minerals will not be enforced while the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks recommendation on how to proceed with the rule. The SEC is reviewing the rule, which requires companies to disclose if their products contain certain minerals, after a court found that the rule was in violation of the US Constitution. The court recently remanded the rule back to the SEC to address the first amendment concerns raised by companies. The companies said that by forcing them to state their products were not conflict-free, the rule was in violation of free speech. During this review period, companies aren’t required to conduct a due diligence review or an audit but are still required to perform reports and do origin inquiries.

The rule, which was part of the bill that passed in 2010, is supported by human rights groups that want transparency from companies for products requiring conflict minerals mined in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The human rights groups hoped that these disclosures would prevent money for products containing tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten mined from the DRC from funding armed groups in that country. However, many businesses have argued that the rule forces companies to provide politically charged information unrelated to investment decisions and that the costs associated with tracing minerals through the supply chain is burdensome.

July 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — In April, the EPA published a proposed rule that would delay the effective date of the recent Risk Management Program (RMP) rule amendments until February 19, 2019. The amendments changed a number of RMP program elements, including compliance audits, the process hazard analysis (PHA) process, emergency response drills and preparedness activities, and information sharing with the public and local emergency responders. The compliance date for these amendments has been pushed back twice already, with the most recent change pushing it back to June 19, 2017. The proposed rule delaying the effective date to 2019 would allow the EPA to evaluate the issues raised in the petitions for reconsiderations from two industry groups and a coalition of states. Comments on the proposed rule were open until May 19, 2017.

June 30, 2017

NEW YORK CITY, NY — Global sodium metal consumption is predicted to grow at a slow 3.3 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2024, with consumption slated to exceed 140,400 tons that year, according to the report Global Market Study on Sodium Metal by Persistence Market Research. The report attributes the low demand for sodium metal to the hazardous effects of the highly reactive sodium element and its handling and storage difficulties. The market is also limited because of the limited number of companies that sell the material and because of alternative materials like magnesium for use in industrial applications. Companies with a share of the market are focusing on production capacity expansions and long-term contracts with end-use industries.

The primary use for sodium metal is for chemical synthesis application, which held a 70.4 percent share of the market volume in 2016 and is expected to reach a 72 percent market share by 2024. The metal is also used in dye production, and the report predicts this application segment will experience a 4.7 percent CAGR in terms of volume through the forecast period. The weakness in demand should be offset by growth in the chemical and textile industries. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $4,900, visit www.persistencemarketresearch.com.

June 29, 2017

ARLINGTON, VA — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has promoted Gary Huddleston to director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs. Huddleston previously served as the manager of feed manufacturing safety and environmental affairs. He joined AFIA in 2015 and in his new role will continue directing efforts surrounding OSHA, the EPA, and the Department of Transportation as well as working to develop the organization’s education and training programs. AFIA represents the business, legislative, and regulatory interests of the US animal feed industry and its suppliers.

June 28, 2017

CRANBURY, NJ — Key International Inc. has hired Saulo De Araujo as a mechanical engineer and sales support for the company’s CORA Ultra-Sanitary Butterfly Valve division. Araujo previously worked as a project manager and designer for a development company where he was responsible for designing and coordinating projects and serving customers. At Key International, his main role will be product development and sales support of CORA-branded products. Key International provides equipment, spare parts, and service to the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, and chemical industries.

June 27, 2017

BURLESON, TX — KWS Manufacturing Co. Ltd., a screw conveyor and material handling equipment supplier, announced that it has successfully passed the ISO 9001:2015 certification audit. The certification was performed by a third-party auditor and includes all phases of operations at the company, including sales, engineering, and manufacturing. The company has been ISO certified for more than 10 years.

June 26, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO — Schenck Process has released an app called vibe2know to measure a vibrating machine’s performance. The app works by allowing a user to simply insert a smartphone into the specially designed mount and attach it to the equipment. The app then immediately measures vibratory amplitude, frequency, oscillating angle, and operating speed and enables the user to visualize the vibrating machine’s motion pattern. The idea for the app came from an employee working in the company’s in-house research and development department. The idea was then taken over and implemented by the future lab. The app can allow operators to take action and save equipment downtime and avoid equipment damage.

June 23, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Carpenter Technology Corp. completed its acquisition of Puris LLC in March. Carpenter Technology, Philadelphia, is a producer and distributor of premium specialty alloys and Puris produces titanium powder for additive manufacturing and advanced technology applications. The addition of Puris will allow Carpenter Technology to enter the growing titanium powder market, expand additive manufacturing, and strengthen the company’s capabilities as a solutions provider. Company operations will continue at Puris’ existing production site in Bruceton Mills, WV, and the facility will operate as a functional unit of Carpenter Powder Products.

June 22, 2017

OCONOMOWOC, WI — Sentry Equipment Corp has released an eBook for professionals interested in representative sampling for industrial processes. The book, The Beginner’s Guide to Industrial Representative Sampling, covers how to collect reliable samples during production, avoid downtime and related costs, control corrosion, ensure product quality and regulatory compliance, and protect operators and the environment. The eBook can be downloaded from the company’s website, www.sentry-equip.com. Sentry supplies representative sampling devices for industrial process control and product quality applications.

June 21, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Solimar Pneumatics has released a video that covers the safety and cost savings that prior customers have experienced using the company’s disk-type fluidizers, which are used to aerate bulk solid materials to improve material flow from silos, bins, and hoppers. The video includes fluidizer users and their experiences, product animations showing installation and function, and more information on the fluidizer installation. The video is available at www.solimarpneumatics.com/Ready-Mix.

June 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — A recent NASA study has revealed that electrically charged lunar dust near shadowed craters on the moon can get lofted above the surface and ‘jump’ over the shadowed region, bouncing back and forth between sunlit and shadowed areas. The dust’s behavior had been difficult to explain because there’s no wind or flowing water on the moon to disturb the material and make it move. New calculations conducted by scientists found that micron-size dust particles can jump several centimeters high when exposed to ultraviolet radiation or plasmas (electrically charged gas). This concept may help explain how lunar dust is transported across vast regions of the moon.

“On Earth’s moon, these dust particles would have been lofted more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) above the lunar surface, leading researchers to conclude that the moon’s ‘horizon glow’ — seen in images taken by Surveyor 5, 6, and 7 five decades ago — may have been caused, in part, by sunlight scattering in a cloud of electrostatically lofted dust particles,” said NASA officials in a statement. Officials add that the recent study builds on previous research and shows that “neighboring dust particles can generate unexpectedly large electrical charges and intense particle-particle repulsive forces,” which lift particles of various sizes off the lunar surface.

The study was published in Geophysical Research Letters journal.

June 19, 2017

SALINA, KS — Vortex has announced that Travis Young will be the executive vice president of marketing and global strategy at the company’s headquarters in Salina, KS. Young is moving from the company’s Darlington, England, offices, where he served as managing director. Young’s successor to that position is Laurence Millington. Millington has been with the company since 2009 and was promoted to his most recent role of sales director, EMEA, Asia, in 2015. Young has been with the company since 2004. Vortex designs and manufactures valves and dustless loading equipment for handling dry bulk materials.

June 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Under requirements that must be enacted within the first year of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA has begun proposing ways to prioritize and evaluate chemicals. The agency must have the processes in place before June 22, 2017. The old TSCA law, enacted in 1976, grandfathered in thousands of unevaluated chemicals that were in commerce at the time. That law failed to provide the EPA with the tools to evaluate chemicals and to require companies to generate and provide data on chemicals they produced. Under the new law, the EPA is now able to evaluate those chemicals, and the agency is proposing three rules to help administer the new process:

  1. Inventory rule. There are currently more than 85,000 chemicals on the EPA’s inventory. Many of these are no longer produced. The rule would require manufacturers to notify the EPA and the public on the number of chemicals still being produced.
  2. Prioritization rule. This rule allows the EPA to establish how to prioritize chemicals for evaluation. The EPA will use a risk-based screening process and criteria to identify whether a chemical is either high or low priority. A chemical designated as high priority must undergo evaluation, while those categorized as low priority do not need to undergo evaluation.
  3. Risk Evaluation rule. This rule will establish how the EPA will evaluate the risk of existing chemicals. The EPA will identify steps for the risk evaluation process, including publishing the scope of the assessment. Chemical hazards and exposures will be assessed along with characterizing and determining risks. This rule also outlines how the agency will seek public comment on chemical evaluations.

If the EPA identifies unreasonable risk in the evaluation, it’s required to eliminate that risk through regulations. Under TSCA, the agency must have at least 20 ongoing risk evaluations by the end of 2019.

June 15, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The global colorants market is expected to reach $37.49 billion by 2025, according to the report Colorants Market Analysis By Application (Plastic, Textile, Food, Personal Care, Printing, Paints & Coatings), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, MEA), and Segment Forecasts, 2014-2025 by Grand View Research. The report cites growing population and increasing disposable income, coupled with consumer spending on packaged food products and fashionable garments as potential drivers for the colorants market. Natural colorants, in particular, are gaining in popularity with consumer demand and government regulations fostering eco-friendly initiatives expected to spur demand for natural ingredients during the report period.

The paints and coatings application segment is predicted to have the fastest growth, exceeding a $10 billion value by 2025. The report forecasts that rising pigment and dye demand along with growing advanced production technologies will aid the sector and trigger product demand.

The report also highlights that the textile segment emerged as the leading application category and accounted for more than 30 percent of total demand in 2015. Another important use for colorants is in plastics applications, which are expected to show steady growth with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7 percent during the forecast period. The dominant plastic colorant was titanium dioxide in 2015, making up 36 percent of revenue that year. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $4,950, visit www.grandviewresearch.com.

June 14, 2017

WINNIPEG, MB — Ag Growth International (AGI), Winnipeg, has announced its acquisition of Global Industries Inc. (Global). Global manufactures grain storage bins, portable and stationary grain handling equipment, grain drying and aeration equipment, structural components, and steel buildings. Global has four divisions located in Nebraska and Kansas, production capacity in South Africa, and warehouses in the US, Europe, Australia, and Africa. AGI hopes that the acquisition will expand its international grain handling, drying, and storage platforms in both the farm and commercial segments.

June 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The Trump administration has made changes to various safety rules that some worker advocates say could harm workers. An article in the The New York Times titled “Worker Safety Rules Are Among Those Under Fire in Trump Era” cites new policies that the administration and legislators have put in place to roll back regulation and, in some cases, enforcement of worker safety rules. The first example of the new policy stance is that the Labor Department has stopped issuing news releases publicizing fines levied against companies, a tactic used in the past to publicly shame violators and to try and prompt other companies to follow rules and regulations. Another recently implemented rule on preventing employer retaliation against employees who report workplace hazards is currently being challenged in court. However, Jillian Rogers, a spokesperson for the Labor Department, says that the agency wouldn’t comment on the lack of press releases publicizing OSHA violations and that the agency’s enforcement efforts were unchanged from past efforts.

Beyond the worker retaliation rule, several rules and standards face delay or elimination. Specifically, a new rule requiring companies seeking federal contracts to disclose violations of labor standards — for example safety rules and even allegations of such violations — has been repealed in the Senate. In response to those upset about the rule change loosening contractor requirements against companies, some industry groups have said that the rule was a burden and unfair because allegations aren’t proven evidence of wrongdoing.

Another source of contention between industry and regulators are OSHA’s Obama-era regulations that require companies to better comply with record-keeping rules. For example, one key provision set to go into effect in February would have required companies to electronically submit accident data to OSHA for posting on a public website. However, the agency has changed the wording on the site to say that it isn’t accepting electronic submissions. This means that the rule isn’t being put into effect though it was supposed to go live in February.

Even the time period given to OSHA to issue citations after an alleged violation is being questioned. In the past, OSHA asserted that it had up to 5 ½ years to issue citations after an alleged violation. In 2012, the courts found this stance to be inconsistent with the law, which meant OSHA had only 6 months after an incident to issue citations. The agency’s citation window was again increased by a rule issued by the Obama administration, but the House recently repealed this rule and the Senate is expected to do the same. In defense of the rule, David Michaels, the former head of OSHA, said that if this rule died, safety recording would effectively become voluntary because finding violations and bringing charges within 6 months was nearly impossible. “Responsible companies will keep good records, but the low-road companies won’t, and that will put responsible companies at a disadvantage,” he said.

OSHA has also said that it will delay a rule intended to lower occupational exposure to beryllium, a mineral connected with deadly lung disease. The rule limiting exposure was supposed to take effect in March 2017 but was delayed until at least May. Safety advocates hope that the rule, the work for which has been underway for four decades, will still be put in place with only minor changes.

June 12, 2017

PLYMOUTH, MN — Mosaic Co. has plans to acquire Vale Fertilizantes (VF), part of Vale SA, a fertilizer company based in Brazil. Currently, VF has the capacity to produce nearly 5.9 million tons of finished phosphate crop nutrients and 550,000 tons of potash. Mosaic’s acquisition would also include mulitple phosphate and potash mines in both South America and Canada. Mosaic, which currently produces concentrated phosphate and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients, would be one of the largest fertilizer production and distribution companies in Brazil. The acquisition would add 8,000 employees, making Mosaic’s total workforce about 17,000. In the US, Mosaic has said that it expects continued production strength to meet global demand and will continue to exclusively produce its high-end MicroEssentials product.

June 9, 2017

PLYMOUTH, MN — Glacier Technology Inc. will represent Imperial Systems Inc., a dust and fume collector equipment supplier located in Jackson Center, PA. Glacier will represent Imperial in four states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Glacier has experience in the industrial ventilation and filtration market and specializes in selecting equipment and design systems to maximize efficiency, minimize energy consumption, and reduce noise generation.

June 8, 2017

AMES, IA — The Ames Laboratory, a US Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University is seeking to expand its titanium powder manufacturing capabilities. Currently the laboratory creates titanium powders using a gas atomization method. This method creates customizable powders with consistently sized particles and a smooth, spherical shape. These powders flow more easily and don’t require a pulsing mechanism or agitator in the manufacturing process. The generated particles’ properties allow the powder, which is used in additive manufacturing, to have little internal porosity and pack together optimally in bulk. These qualities reduce dead air space and improve the quality of parts produced.

The lab’s powder production efforts have produced more than 16 patents and precipitated the creation of IPAT, a spin-off company recently purchased by Praxair, which exclusively licenses Ames Laboratory’s titanium atomization patents for market. The laboratory hopes to expand its production capabilities to up to 200 pounds of powder in one production run, allowing for more research opportunities with national laboratories and industry partners.

June 7, 2017

HIGH POINT, NC — AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business has launched Interpon app, a mobile tool that allows customers to browse the company’s available products, color families, and chemistries, review specifications, and performance characteristics, check approvals, and even make a purchase on a mobile device. The app is currently only available in the US but will soon be available in other locations around the world. AkzoNobel, High Point, NC, offers powder coating solutions for various applications and industries, including furniture, automotive, functional, IT, appliance, architectural metalwork, and general.

June 6, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Richard Riman, a professor at Rutgers University, has begun commercializing an eco-friendly version of concrete. Riman, a distinguished professor in the department of materials science and engineering, invented an energy-efficient technology 9 years ago that allows for the creation of eco-friendly, carbon-dioxide-storing concrete, among other materials. Riman came up with his initial ideas for the technology decades ago but didn’t pursue implementing the technology until companies began valuing green technology to prevent climate change. The professor now owns Solidia Technologies, based in Piscataway, NJ, a startup company marketing improved, eco-friendly cement and concrete for construction and infrastructure.

June 5, 2017

BREWSTER, MN — Minnesota Soybean Processors (MnSP) and its subsidiary North Dakota Soybean Processors (NDSP) announced construction plans for a $240 million soybean processing plant in Spiritwood, ND. The plant, which would be an integrated soybean crush facility and refinery and the first of its kind in the state, would handle about 125,000 bushels of soybeans daily. The plant would produce soybean meal; refined, bleached, and deodorized soybean oil; and biodiesel. Plant construction would move forward after further due diligence and a completed engineering study on the 150-acre site near Spiritwood. The plant would support 55 to 60 full-time positions and annually produce 900,000 tons of soybean meal, a product used in livestock feed for poultry, swine, and cattle. In addition to soybean meal, the site would also produce 490 million pounds of oil. MnSP is headquartered in Brewster, MN.

June 2, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — AgGateway, a nonprofit consortium of businesses that help members improve profitability and productivity by promoting, enabling, and expanding eBusiness in agriculture, has announced that it’s creating standards for grain-handling information management. The standards, which are scheduled to be completed in June, will allow companies to efficiently track grain from the harvester to the processor, allowing enhanced traceability for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act and other regulations and industry standards. The more than 25 member companies involved have been working on the project for nearly 2 years and have the goal of allowing growers to more effectively exchange electronic data at the interfaces between harvesting equipment and transport vehicles, through delivery to a grain elevator or storage bin.

June 1, 2017

MIDLAND, MI — Dow Chemical Co. has been named a 2017 Top Employer in the US by the Top Employers Institute. Dow is receiving this recognition for the first time in the US and is one of only a handful of companies to achieve Top Employer status in 2017, having shown best-in-class human resources practices and excellence in employee work environment. Key areas that influenced Dow’s recognition include strong policies regarding inclusion and diversity, benefits and compensation, learning and development, leadership, and workplace culture. According to Andrew Liveris, company chairman and chief executive officer, “At Dow, cultivating our people and fostering workplaces that encourage collaboration and innovation are important keys to our success.”

The company has been recognized in various other countries by the Top Employers Institute and is pleased that its US branch was also selected. The Top Employers Institute recognizes companies around the world using proprietary methodology to maintain certification objectivity, independence, and selectivity.

May 31, 2017

ALBANY, NY — Strong company rivalries have defined the global bulk material handling product and technology market, resulting in companies focusing on mergers, acquisitions, and business alliances to strengthen their company visibility, according to the report Bulk Material Handling Products and Technologies Market (Type — Powder Materials (Material Feeding Systems, Weighing Systems, Conveying Systems, and Screening Systems), Iron Ores, Wood Chips, and Coal; End Use — Chemical, Construction, Energy, Food & Beverage, Mining, Metals, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, and Plastics) — Global Industry Analysis Size Share Growth Trends and Forecast 2016-2024 by Transparency Market Research. In the coming years, according to the report, companies are expected to focus more on product innovation, development, and advanced technology, which will likely intensify competition even more. The report says that the bulk material handling market will reach $65.74 billion by the end of 2024, increasing from $58.86 billion in 2015 and registering a 1.3 percent compound annual growth rate during the report’s time frame. The strongest demand for bulk material handling market products and technologies has come from the mining industry, and that’s not expected to change.

The report states that North America, the Asia-Pacific region, and the rest of the world (including the Middle East, Africa, and South America) are the main geographical segments in the worldwide market. Europe, which in 2015 had a 35 percent share of the overall market, is expected to remain the region with highest demand for bulk material handling products and technologies. Within Europe, the German market for this equipment is dominant — and is expected to remain that way — because of the extensive use of bulk material handling equipment. This will be driven by demand for industrial automation and the increase in mass-production methods, such as assembly-line production and the augmenting requirement for bulk equipment in the construction industry, according to the report. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $5,795, visit www.transparencymarketresearch.com.

May 30, 2017

JONESBORO, AR — Camfil APC, a dust, mist, and fume collector supplier, will waive the $1,195 fee for its training programs scheduled for June 6-7 and September 12-13 as part of its commitment to industrial safety. The company will be providing 2-day training sessions on the operation and maintenance of the Farr Gold Series dust collector system, proper techniques for industrial ventilation, and compliance with NFPA standards. For more info, contact Marsha Johanson, 870-910-7123 (apctraining@camfil.com) or visit http://university.camfilapc.com.

May 30, 2017

MIDDLEBOROUGH, MA — Ametek Brookfield has announced upcoming dates for its “Practical Course on Viscosity Measurements.” The 1-day course helps attendees who use the Brookfield Viscometer and Rheometer measurement devices and will provide information, activities, and techniques on how to use the devices. Upcoming course dates and locations include: June 15, Middleborough, MA; June 20, Phoenix, AZ; and June 22, New Orleans, LA. For more information or to register, visit www.brookfieldengineering.com. Ametek Brookfield manufactures viscometers and rheometers for lab and inline process control applications.

May 29, 2017

UZWIL, Switzerland — Bühler, the owner of Bühler Aeroglide, a drying and thermal processing equipment supplier based in Raleigh, NC, has begun a project to reduce the amount of mycotoxin-contaminated grains that enter the food supply and improve economical grain yields for producers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, mycotoxins, which are produced by fungal mold, currently contaminate almost a quarter of the world’s agricultural produce, making them a threat to people and animals. Mycotoxins come in various types. In Europe, there have been mycotoxin scares caused by aflatoxin, which was found in milk intended for human consumption after dairy cows ingested contaminated maize. Climate change is also increasing the likelihood for mycotoxins to develop in crops grown in temperate regions. Previously, the toxic fungi were more prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates.

In response to the food safety threat that these toxins pose, along with the need to solve other industry problems, Bühler invests 5 percent of its turnover in research and development. The investment includes a collaboration with experts from the European Horizon 2020 project, MycoKey, which was initiated in 2016 and involves 32 organizations from 14 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Together with Bühler and some of its customers, the project involves studying harvested rye grain lots, which may contain the mycotoxin ergot alkaloids (EA), for data that can be used to better identify and remove EAs from the grain. The tests involved separating the grain by size, optical sorting, and surface treatments. Results showed that the optical sorting method had the greatest statistical significance in EA reduction. The optical sorting method can be applied both at grain reception facilities and in mills. These efforts are part of the company’s overall goal to help producers achieve commercially viable yields and to reduce post-harvest losses on a global scale.