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

Posted December 2, 2019

Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, CA, an almond marketer and processor, has announced that it will expand its facility in Salida, CA. According to the company, the facility is already the largest almond receiving station in the world, and with the planned bulk receiving warehouse addition, the company will be able to store an additional 50 million pounds of almond meats. The facility will then have eight bulk warehouses on-site. In addition to storage, the new warehouse will feature increased energy efficiency, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and stormwater recharge to meet the company’s sustainability goals and improve on the design of the last warehouse built in 2015. The new warehouse will have LED lights, an integrated truck scale and loading pit, and 2,400 feet of buried perforated pipe directing stormwater to the soil beneath the facility.

Posted November 29, 2019

AZO Inc., AZO GmbH’s US subsidiary is celebrating its 40-year anniversary. The parent company specializes in German-engineered conveying systems, bulk material handling, raw material handling, mixer feeding, screeners, and bulk containers. Founded in 1949, the company began as a business building mills in a former sheep pen in Osterburken, Germany. Adolf Zimmerman and his wife Marianne started the company because Adolf was a hobby inventor who designed machinery for mills and bakeries. His first major breakthrough came when he designed the first centrifugal flour-sifting machine call the “Triumph.”

In 1978, the company established its first subsidiary in Memphis, TN, AZO Inc. That subsidiary was initially headed by Hunt Moore and his son Robert Moore and was a unique arrangement for the time. The company helps customers automate ingredient handling in North America and the company has supplied cyclone screeners to US customers and installed the first computer graphics system in a major North American food manufacturer. The company has also been recognized as a top workplace in Memphis.

Posted November 28, 2019

Horizon Technology has released online guides that provide an introduction to various powder metallurgy (PM) processes and applications. The company’s most recent guide is “Choosing Powder Metallurgy Materials Part 1: Durability.” The guide is the first in a series and reviews what factors to consider when selecting PM materials before constructing a PM part, including corrosion resistance, hardness, tensile strength, impact toughness, and fatigue strength.

The guide also covers metal types and their properties. It reviews information on stainless steel, copper, nickel, aluminium, and titanium and is available on the company’s website, www.horizontechnology.biz.

Horizon Technology, St. Marys, PA, is a small metal parts manufacturer specializing in custom powder metallurgy.

Posted November 27, 2019

The Redwood Group LLC (Redwood) has completed its acquisition of Ceres Commodities LLC (Ceres) in Newport, KY. Ceres Commodities has supplied premium food-grade, non-GMO and organic soybeans and other commodities domestically as well as directly into East and Southeast Asian food markets. According to Redwood, the Ceres team will bring its knowledge of the food soy export market, which will allow Redwood’s to continually supply superior quality product to those markets through its network of non-GMO soybean cleaning facilities.

Redwood is an employee-owned supply chain, merchandising, and solutions-based company that focuses on food ingredients, feed ingredients, and energy products. The company is headquartered in Mission, KS, with additional offices in Omaha, NE, and Newport, KY. In addition, the company has specialized cleaning facilities in Chester, MT; Venango, NE; and Pleasant Hills, MO.

Posted November 26, 2019

Beumer, Somerset, NJ, a conveying and loading system designer and manufacturer, has been selected to provide design and build services for a new recycled ash pipe conveying system as the A.B. Brown Generating Station located near Mount Vernon, IN. Spearheaded by Vectren, a CenterPoint Energy Company, the project should continue through 2020.

The project consists of a one-mile-long pipe conveyor to transport material from the power station’s ash pond to its barge loading facility on the Ohio River. In addition to supplying the pipe conveyor, Beumer will also design and supply a reclaim hopper and belt feeder to receive wet ash at the pond site and a transfer conveyor to feed the new pipe conveyor. Beumer will also design, fabricate, and supply upgrade modifications to the existing barge loading facility to convert it from a dry loading system to one that will load the wet, excavated ponded material. The supplier’s pipe conveyor system has proven to be an environmentally safe solution for coal ash transportation by eliminating material spills and fugitive dust.

Posted November 25, 2019

Minnesota-based Superior Industries Inc., a bulk material processing and handling equipment engineering and manufacturing company, has partnered with CMS Cepcor, which manufactures crusher spare parts. CMS Cepcor is a large manufacturer of aftermarket crusher parts for more than three dozen active and classic brands throughout Europe. CMS Cepcor also recently expanded to include a location in Pekin, IL, where the company plans to stock, sell, and service aftermarket parts throughout North and South America. Superior will work closely with the company to supply Superior’s crushing equipment dealers and customers with spares.

CMS Cepcor’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are in Coalville, UK. Superior, Morris, MN, supplies, bulk crushing, screening, and washing and conveying systems for the aggregate, mining, agriculture, power, and biomass industries.

Posted November 22, 2019

Particle Testing Authority (PTA), a subsidiary of Micromeritics Instrument Corp., has opened an applications laboratory in Unterschleissheim, Germany. The office’s addition will bring the company’s locations to five, with the other offices in Merignac, France; Hexton, UK; Brussels, Belgium; and Eindhoven, the Netherlands. According to Jeff Sherman, Micromeritics’ vice president of sales and marketing, “Moving to an attractive and logistically well-connected location not only addresses our customers’ increasing demand for excellent material characterization solutions, but also ensures rapid laboratory services in our European Particle Testing Authority application lab, as well as stress our commitment in Germany.” The lab will provide material density measurement, particle surface and porosity analysis, particle size and particle shape determination, powder and catalyst characterization, and process development.

Micromeritics, Norcross, GA, is a global solutions provider for material characterization with instrumentation and application expertise.

Posted November 21, 2019

Evonik has begun producing fumed silica at its Antwerp, Belgium, plant complex. The silica, marketed as Aerosil is suitable for paints and coatings, advanced adhesive systems, transparent silicones, and nonflammable high-performance insulation materials. According to the company, silica is one of the company’s four strategic growth engines with above average market growth at about 4 percent annually. That growth is greater than the global economy’s growth as a whole. Evonik, Essen, Germany, is a global manufacturer of silica products as well as other specialty chemicals.

Posted November 20, 2019

Bühler has introduced a new approach to industrial mills. The company’s Mill E3 provides a higher standard of cost-effective building investment, project realization time, and energy consumption. According to the company, the new mill uses 30 percent less space, 30 percent shorter installation time, and 10 percent less energy and incorporates blockchain technology to trace grain through the milling process for transparency and food safety.

A typical traditional mill concept requires a minimum of 5 to 6 floors. In contrast, the Mill E3 can use a smaller building compared to a traditional mill of the same size. The smaller building also reduces the amount of capital required and can be completed more quickly using pre-assembled modules. In regard to energy, the Mill E3 can reduce energy consumption by 10 percent while achieving the same output as a traditional mill. Bühler uses a new grinding system and conveying system that provide greater efficiency than previous technologies.

Bühler has already implemented its blockchain technology has already been implemented at a large milling company in the United Kingdom, Whitworths Holdings Ltd. Whitworths operates 17 mills on 9 sites and is the first to use Mill E3. Whitworths already had a system in place to allow them to trace grains back to farms, so it was a logical step to continue to offer transparency in the milling process. According to Mike Peters, managing director of Whitworth Bros. Ltd., a company of Whitworth Holdings, “If we don’t embrace these new digital technologies and embed them within our business now, in the longer term that could be a bar to entry into certain markets as pressure comes from the end consumer and eventually from regulators for increased transparency.”

Bühler, headquartered in Uzwil, Switzerland, supplies milling, drying, mixing, weighing and packing, and other processing equipment for various industries, including the food processing industry and others.

Posted November 19, 2019

RHI Magnesita plans to invest $90 million at the Contagem complex in Belo Horizonte, including using $75 million for expanding four of its 10 refractory plants. The plan includes spending $17 million on a new headquarters. In 2017, the company became the largest refractories producer globally following the merger of RHI Austria and Magnesita Refratários of Brazil to form RHI Magnesita. The planned investment is the first large project the company has done in Brazil since the merger. The majority of new production at the expanded facilities will serve foreign markets. The company hopes to increase exports from 23 percent to from 30 to 35 percent.

Refractory production requires various raw materials, including graphite and magnesia. RHI Magnesita is reported to own the largest magnesite reserve outside of China, allowing the company to be somewhat self-sufficient with that raw material. This will help the company remain more independent as China’s tightening environmental policies impact the supply chain of other raw materials for refractories. In 2018, China accounted for around 50 percent of global synthetic graphite production, 60 percent of natural graphite production, and 56 percent of magnesite production.

RHI Magnesita, Vienna, Austria, produces refractories for high-temperature industrial processes for the steel, cement, lime, chemical, and other industries.

Posted November 19, 2019

Bühler AG and Premier Tech Systems and Automation (Premier Tech) have announced that they’ve formed a strategic cooperation for industrial flexible packaging solutions. The two companies plan to work together and build a manufacturing center in China by 2020. Bühler will bring its grain and food processing expertise and Premier Tech its packaging expertise to establish the center and develop automated, food-safe, and accurate bagging and palletizing solutions. Both companies will continue to sell their own respective products through existing channels.

The partnership will address the last step in grain processing packaging, which occurs before transporting products like flour to bakeries and other food processors, rice to distributors, or pellets to farms. In many cases, in developing countries, these packaging tasks are completed by hand. Manual packaging is inefficient, costly, and slow and poses a problem in achieving consistent bag weights. The partnership between Bühler and Premier Tech will seek to fill this gap with equipment solutions.

Bühler, based in Uzwil, Switzerland, already has high-quality supply chain management in China. According to André Noreau, president of Premier Tech Systems and Automation, “The strategic cooperation will allow Premier Tech to gain better access to the Chinese market by using cost-effective and modern packaging solutions arising from this partnership or by combining them with Premier Tech’s internationally renowned Chronos technology portfolio (distributed by Premier Tech Chronos) in weighing bagging and palletizing.”

Premier Tech Chronos, Riviére-du-Loup, QC, is part of Premier Tech a company with various focuses, including increasing crop yields, improving manufacturing-facility efficiency, and treating and recycling water. Premier Tech Chronos supplies weighing and feeding, bagging, bag closing and sealing, robotic palletizing, and other packaging related equipment.

Posted November 18, 2019

Fagus GreCon Inc. has named Eric Peterson as chief executive officer (CEO). He officially joined the organization in August 2019 and has more than 20 years of experience leading teams in various manufacturing industries, including the food and building products industry. He’ll be based at the company’s North American headquarters in Charlotte, NC. He holds a BS in accounting from the University of Illinois and an MBA in marketing from Indiana University. Peterson’s hiring will continue the company’s transition from Portland, OR, to Charlotte, NC, which began in 2017. The move will bring the company closer to many customers requiring fire prevention solutions and measuring systems.

Posted November 15, 2019

The global variable-frequency drive market is expected to grow from an estimate $20.73 billion in 2018 to $27.57 billion by 2023, registering a 5.87 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period. This is according to the report Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Market by Type (AC, DC, and Servo), End-Users (Industrial, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, and Power Generation), Application (Pumps, Fans, Compressors, and Conveyors), Power Range Voltage, and Region — Global Forecast to 2023 by Markets and Markets, a market research company. The market growth is attributed to an increase in industrialization and urbanization and an increase in the demand for energy efficiency across various industries, such as in oil and gas and power generation.

The low-voltage segment of the VFD market is expected to hold the largest share of the market during the forecast period. These are used in various industrial applications, such as building automation, pulp and paper, and process industries, that are expected to drive the low-voltage segment during the forecast period.

In terms of market regions, the report predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will have the greatest growth during the forecast period. China and Japan are the largest markets for VFDs in the region. China plans to invest heavily in clean energy production, which would drive the VFD market in the country. Japan has also released data indicating strong infrastructure development in planned for both housing and commercial development. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $5,650, visit www.marketsandmarkets.com.

Posted November 15, 2019

Gericke recently opened its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, to employees, their families, the press, and business partners as part of the company’s celebration of 125 years in business. The company was founded in 1894 by Walther Hermann Gericke and is now a global provider of solutions for the bulk solids industry. The company is holding various customer seminars during the celebration year at locations in Europe, Asia, and in the Americas. The seminars will allow attendees the chance to see fascinating demonstrations of powder handling equipment and follow the production steps required to manufacture a mixer, among other activities.

Gericke has also organized all its subsidiaries under a new company called the Gericke Group. The company designs and manufactures equipment and systems for bulk materials handling and processing.

Posted November 14, 2019

Spiroflow Systems Inc. has announced Andy Forrester as vice president of sales in the Americas. In this role, he’ll develop and implement national sales strategies, open new vertical markets, and oversee the growth of innovative solutions in the powder and bulk solids industry. He has more than 15 years of experience in the sales and marketing field and was most recently the director of sales and marketing at Kice Industries. The company, Monroe, NC, supplies powder and handling and dry solids processing equipment, including conveyors, bulk bag fillers and unloaders, and palletizers.

Posted November 13, 2019

Industrial Magnetics Inc. (IMI) has improved its 52-megagauss-oersteds magnetic circuit for its Large Tube Housing and Large Tube Grate magnets. These products capture metal contaminants in challenging, gravity-fed processing applications where sticking, galling, and material bridging is prevalent. Typical applications can include processing of spices, powders, flour, starches, and pet foods. According to the company, the improved magnet can achieve 28 pounds of nominal pull value on a ½-inch ball, making the circuit the highest-pull-value 3-inch circuit on the market. This pull value, coupled with a boosted gauss averaging 12,385, help the magnet to capture improved capturing of ferrous pieces, as well as smaller fines and weakly magnetic contaminants from material flows. IMI, Boyne City, MI, is a permanent and electromagnet supplier that designs and manufactures magnetic assemblies and magnetic separation devices.

Posted November 13, 2019

Chicago-based private equity firm May River Capital has acquired Kason Corp., and will establish a platform company Advanced Material Processing (AMP). AMP will be focused on material processing equipment for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and chemical sectors. Kason, a screening, drying, cooling, and processing equipment supplier headquartered in Millburn, NJ, has joined May River Capital’s other acquisition, Marion Process Solutions, an industrial mixer and blender and microwave vacuum dryer supplier headquartered in Marion, IA.

According to Steve Griesemer, a partner in May River Capital, “Both Kason and Marion [Process Solutions] have strong foundations to build upon, and we look forward to extending Kason’s and Marion’s reach to new customers and markets with this engineering force.” The acquisition will allow AMP to expand its product and service offerings with the goal of providing short- and long-term value by providing better products and services to customers.

Posted November 12, 2019

Private equity firm PMC Capital Group LLC has bought StyroChem Canada Ltd., an expandable polystyrene resin (EPS) maker. EPS is typically used in food services, packaging, construction, casting, and specialty applications. StyroChem’s plant in Quebec City, QC, has been producing EPS for more than 40 years, and the company was previously owned by Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC. As part of the deal, PMC Capital will partner with StyroChem’s existing management team, but PMC Capital will hold a majority stake in the firm. Production will remain in Quebec City, allowing StyroChem to continue serving existing customers while pursuing aggressive growth.

PMC Capital is a privately held management firm owned by plastics industry veteran Phil Kamins. The company also owns Plastics Color Corp., VCF Films, and Polyurethane Machinery Corp., and it has more than 3,500 employees globally.

Posted November 11, 2019

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that it will institute an investigation of certain food processing equipment and packaging materials based on a complaint filed by 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (SSI). The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the US and the sale of certain food processing equipment and packaging materials, by reason of false advertising and unfair competition under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. The 3-A symbol is a registered trademark used since 1956 to identify equipment that meets 3-A Sanitary Standards for design and fabrication, including third-party verification.

The complaint requests that equipment bearing a counterfeit 3-A symbol or products that have falsely advertised that they meet 3-A Sanitary Standards be subject to an exclusion order.

The USITC has identified the following companies as targets for the investigation:

  • Wenzhou QiMing Stainless Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China;
  • High MPa Valve Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China;
  • Wenzhou Sinco Steel Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China;
  • Wenzhou Kasin Valve Pipe Fitting Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China;
  • Wenzhou Fuchuang Machinery Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China;

Tim Rugh, executive director of 3-A SSI, says, “These companies and others have acted in brazen disregard for the food processors around the world who rely on the integrity of processing equipment based on the 3-A Symbol. The open theft of this intellectual property has a direct bearing on consumer health and safety, and this behavior must stop.”

The investigation will proceed under the supervision of a USITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing on whether a violation has occurred. The initial determination is then subject to review by the USITC.

Posted November 8, 2019

Researchers have discovered a porous polymer sorbent material capable of storing methane. The polymer can soak up 25 percent more methane than the target value set by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for natural gas storage materials. The polymer can be made at room temperature in open-air glassware from starting materials that cost less than $1 per kilogram. This polymer could be used to improve vehicles fueled by natural gas, which is predominantly methane. Natural-gas fueled vehicles produce fewer CO2 and other emissions versus gasoline- and diesel-powered engines. However, these same vehicles currently require high-cost, high-pressure tanks to store enough fuel for practical driving distances and also have to include unwieldy, bulbous tanks. These limitations make the technology difficult to implement, particularly for passenger cars.

Researchers Vepa Rozyyev and Cafer T. Yavus of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Mert Atilhan of Texas A&M University at Qatar, and coworkers reasoned that making polymers with aromatic cores coupled via flexible ethylene linkers would yield porous sorbents that “breathe.” The team made 29 polymers and chose the one called COP-150 for testing in a commercial gas cylinder because of the polymer’s top performance and low cost. The research could mean that tanks loaded with suitable sorbents could store more gas at lower pressures and fit into available vehicle space.

Previously, some sorbents, specifically metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), have shown promise in reaching the DOE methane-storage targets, but COP-150 has surpassed these targets. According to Omar K. Fartha of Northwestern University, an MOF specialist, technologies that enable high-capacity storage of gaseous fuels, such as methane could be a bridge to cleaner-energy alternatives to fossil fuels.

The research was published in Nature Energy.

Posted November 7, 2019

Mespack, Barcelona, Spain, has partnered with Dow develop more efficient packaging solutions, specifically for pouches made of mono-material films. The packaging will allow converters and brand owners to better meet sustainability commitments requiring recyclability of flexible packaging. The solution was on display at Pack Expo Las Vegas in September.

According to Mespack, about 86 billion stand-up pouches are produced every year. That means that many packagers are seeking recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable materials for flexible packaging. In addition to being shown at the trade show, the packaging solution will also be at Dow’s Freeport, TX, location. The location is part of Dow Pack Studios (DPS) and brings together equipment manufacturers, packaging designers, and prototyping specialists to quickly and efficiently drive commercialization of new and improved packaging innovations. Mespack will install the horizontal form-fill-seal machine in the first quarter of 2020, where it will test customer film.

Dow Pack Studios was created to allow resins and adhesives experts at Dow to collaborate with packaging equipment manufacturers and packaging designers. The packaging-focused DPS has locations in the US, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, Italy, India, China, and Singapore. Mespack is owned by Duravant, a provider of end-to-end process solutions headquartered in Downer’s Grove, IL.

Posted November 6, 2019

Roane State Community College mechatronics students in Oak Ridge, TN, have collaborated with local ceramic components manufacturer CoorsTek to help the company improve its production systems. The company takes high-purity ceramic powder and presses it into various shapes. The compressed powder is then sintered, or fired, at high temperatures to produce a dense, durable substrate. The fired substrate is then machined to final customer requirements using diamond tooling. The ceramic components produced are used for semiconductor, automotive, aerospace, defense, and medical applications.

During a typical ceramic component production process, the expensive ceramic powder used must be kept clean. According to Gordon Williams, director of the mechatronics program, “The powder is expensive, and too much of it had been ending up on the factory floor instead of in a hopper, rendering it unusable.” To maintain cleanliness during the process and to protect the powder, Hunter Cross and Chris Phillips — two mechatronics students in the latest graduating class at Roane State — designed and installed a hydraulic systems and operating controls for the machine for dumping out the powder while containing the mess. The students’ project adds to a previously completed project by Drew Stephens, a member of the first mechatronics graduating class. In 2017, Stephens designed a machine to dump the powder from 55-gallon drums into a waiting pressing sack while minimizing spills.

CoorsTek and Roane State are testing the current design and adjusting it to meet electrical code. Once fully code-compliant, the company plans to replicate it and potentially use the system at its other facilities. The collaboration between industry and education is helpful to both industry and the school by providing real-world projects to new graduates. For more info on the mechatronics program, visit roanestate.edu/mechatronics.

Posted November 5, 2019

The explosion-proof equipment market has been growing as adoption of the equipment has become necessary to comply with regulations and to protect equipment and workers in various industries. According to the report Explosion Proof Equipment Market Segmentation by Application (Power Supply, Material Handling, Automation System, Surveillance System, Motor, and Others); by Flammable Substances (Class 1, Class 2, Class 3); by End Users (Chemical & Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical, Energy & Power, Mining, Food Processing, Oil & Gas and Others) — Global Demand Analysis & Opportunity Outlook 2027 by Research Nester, adoption of explosion proof equipment in the oil and gas industries, exploration of new mining sites that increases the need for the equipment, rising demand in the automation sector, and new safety regulation are the factors contributing to market growth. The market was valued at $8.43 billion in 2018 and is expected to attain a value of $11.84 billion by 2027, growing at a 5.6 percent compound annual growth rate during the forecast period. The report predicts that the mining segment of the market will have the largest share because of explosions in underground mines and processing facilities. These explosions can stem from the accumulation of flammable and toxic gases and combustible dust. Mining remains the most hazardous occupation for workers because of the maximum number of people exposed to risk in the mining environment.

Explosion protection equipment requirements are governed by the regulatory bodies of the individual countries where the equipment will be used. Demand for equipment is expected to be strong because there are differences in technical requirements in different countries and so the related approvals for each device are also necessary. This means that manufacturers can benefit from high investment for approval testing and development for each device or piece of equipment. Recently, various industry groups and regulators have made an effort to embrace technical standards and implement uniform safety standards in parallel. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $4,150, visit www.researchnester.com.

Posted November 4, 2019

Purdue University researchers in West Lafayette, IN, have developed a novel device designed to protect the integrity of drug and food products while improving the consistency in how these products flow during processing and handling. It’s common in the food and drug processing industries for workers to struggle with how powdery mixtures flow from the large bins that are in many processing plants. These flow problems are common in the manufacturing industry because some of the powders can stick to the sides of a bin or clog in the middle of it, resulting in problems with the powder and the final product being made from the powder.

The device developed to solve flow problems is a flow aid that can be placed inside a bin and controlled with Bluetooth. The device works by directly transferring vibration energy to the powders without affecting the structural integrity of the bin. According to Kingsly Ambrose, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, “This device could also monitor powder parameters like temperature, humidity, and pressure, which in turn indicate any change in quality.” He goes on to say that the device can also allow users to control vibration intensity and location to provide a consistent powder product and also has applications in the agricultural and grain industries.

The researchers have a provisional patent on the device and are seeking additional partners on the project. For more information, contact otcip@prf.org. The team is working with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization on bringing the device to the commercial market.

Posted November 1, 2019

The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) has named Steve Records as the association’s chief staff executive. Records has more than 23 years of professional experience, including serving at SCORE in Herndon, VA, a nonprofit organization of volunteer small-business mentors. He has a strong background working in associations and was selected out of 150 applicants. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He also has completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford University. He is also a Certified Association Executive. The association, Golden Valley, MN, is an international professional association that supports its members and the industry by addressing critical needs in grain handling, storage, and processing operations in the grain elevator and processing industry.

Posted October 31, 2019

The global metal powder market is forecast to have steady growth from 2018 to 2027, registering a 4.0 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The market is expected to increase from a value of $6.8 billion in 2018 to $10.1 billion by the end of 2027, according to the report Metal Powder Market (Type: Iron & Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Nickel, and Others; and Application: Automotive, Electrical & Electronics, Machinery, and Others) — Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2019-2027 by Transparency Market Research.

The report attributes the market growth to the increasing use of metal powders in the additive manufacturing industry. In addition, the construction and automotive markets in the Asia-Pacific region should grow rapidly during the period. In the construction industry, metal powder can be used to make castable products or coatings or can strengthen heat and electrical conductivity on ceilings, walls, and floors. In particular, India, Japan, and China are the major metal powder consumers in the region. For the automotive market, the report cites demand for lightweight components as a likely factor that will bolster growth in the metal powder market. Many lightweight vehicle parts can be created using additive manufacturing, with large companies introducing machines and powders to supply parts for the automotive sector. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $5,795, visit www.transparencymarketresearch.com.

Posted October 30, 2019

SOCMA, Arlington, VA, an organization for members in the specialty and fine chemical industry, has rebranded to focus on its members and provide solutions for the specialties industry. The organization has a new tagline “Solutions for Specialties.” The organization is approaching its 100th anniversary and plans to transform its offerings, put its members’ needs at the heart of the association, and add membership value through networking opportunities and customized services.

The association has also published the 2019 edition of its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) manual, called the, “TSCA Compliance: A Company Guide,” to serve as a resource for companies developing and implementing a site-specific TSCA compliance program. The revised book is suitable for facility, operations, regulatory, and environmental management teams as a guide for regulatory implementation and internal reviews and audit preparation. The publication features section-by-section summaries of the law, commentary on the implementing regulations, easy-to-follow checklists useful for compliance audits, and a comprehensive appendix with additional resource information.

Posted October 29, 2019

Flexicon, Bethlehem, PA, has opened new offices in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Dijon, France to supply customers in the regions with flexible screw conveyors, tubular cable conveyors, pneumatic conveying systems, bulk bag conditioners, bulk bag dischargers, bulk bag fillers, weighbatching systems, and engineered plant-wide systems that Flexicon can integrate with new or existing equipment or processes.

The Jakarta office will be part of Flexicon Singapore Pte. Ltd. The office will provide factory-direct sales and applications engineering services throughout Southeast Asia. Irwan Gunawan, regional sales manager, will head the new office. He holds a degree in mechatronic engineering from Swiss German University of Indonesia.

The Dijon office will be part of Flexicon (Europe) Ltd. The office will provide factory-direct sales and application engineering services to customers in France and surrounding regions. Emmanuel Decoeur, regional sales manager, will lead the new office. He holds a degree in engineering from Lycée Hippolyte Fontaine in Dijon.

Flexicon currently manufactures equipment in the US, UK, Australia, and South Africa.

Posted October 28, 2019

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has announced that Constance Cullman will be the association’s new president and CEO. Cullman will begin serving in her new position in the fall of 2019. In the interim period before assuming her position, she’ll be working with staff to learn the important issues in the feed industry and she’ll be meeting with members and industry to understand the issues the association is working on in Washington, DC, for association members’ businesses. The association, Arlington, VA, represents the total feed industry in matters involving federal and state legislation and regulation, keeps members informed of developments important to them, and creates opportunities to network and address common issues in the industry.

Posted October 25, 2019

Schenck Process’s new CONiQ weighing control unit for industrial weighing applications has won the 2019 red dot design award for interface design. The company developed the unit using an iterative, human-centered design process together with customer interaction. The design started with field observations, detailed data about current usage with the predecessor weighing device, and an accounting of user needs. Next, the analysis created from that information was transformed into first drafts of the CONiQ user interface. Then user feedback was used to make the interface’s wireframes and later click dummies. During each iteration, user feedback was gathered and integrated into the next version of the user interface. The resulting interface is easy to understand and operate. The company, Darmstadt, Germany, designs and manufactures solutions for weighing, feeding, conveying, thermal processing, pulverizing and classification, screening, mixing and blending, automation, and air filtration applications.

Posted October 24, 2019

Höganäs AB, a Swedish company and metal powder producer, will expand its Johnstown, PA, facility. The expansion will add new production capabilities to support additive manufacturing and other technologies. The plans for the site include a new 24,000-square-foot building and new machinery. Formerly called SMC Metals Products, the high alloys plant in Johnstown is being expanded to meet demand for high alloy products.

According to Dean Howard, president of Höganäs Americas Continent, “This exciting investment, with the greatly appreciated support from the Governor’s Action Team and JARI, will help Höganäs continue to grow in Pennsylvania and provide innovative products for our customers in several quickly developing market areas.” JARI is a local nonprofit economic development organization that partners with the business community in Cambria and Somerset Counties since 1974.

Posted October 23, 2019

FLSmidth and Société Générale de Travaux du Maroc (SGTM) have signed a contract with Tekcim SA to co-deliver a greenfield cement plant with a 3,600-metric-ton (3,968-short-ton) capacity per day. The two companies will build the plant in Ouled Ghanem in Morocco’s El-Jadida province, and it should be fully operational in the third quarter of 2022. The project will include state-of-the-art equipment and will fulfill strict international standards. FLSmidth, Copenhagen, Denmark, is a global company that provides engineering, equipment, and service solution for the mining and cement industries. SGTM, Casablanca, Morocco, is a construction company and Tekcim is its subsidiary.

Posted October 23, 2019

The market for heavy-duty bags and sacks has shown growth in the past few years as they have improved in their ability to sustain more weight compared to conventional bags. The report Heavy Duty Bags and Sacks Market Forecast, Trend Analysis & Competition Tracking — Global Market Insights 2018-2028 by Fact.MR, a market research company, says that the market value for the heavy-duty bags and sacks market is expected to have a 4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2018 to 2028. The forecast for steady market growth is attributed to the advantages of the bags, including thinness, high strength, excellent durability, and reusability. End-use industries such as the agriculture, chemicals and fertilizers, food and beverage, and others show a preference for the bags because of their benefits.

The report also asserts that heavy-duty bags and sacks are highly customizable, in addition to their other advantages, and suppliers’ can manufacture them according to an end-user’s requirements, making the bags the most effective packaging solution for several industrial sectors.

Plastic is the most commonly used material in the global heavy-duty bags and sacks market, accounting for around 55 percent of the value share in the market during the forecast period. The report expects this market dominance to continue but notes that stringent regulations prohibiting the use of plastic by government organizations in several countries may hold back demand for plastic as a material of choice in the market. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $4,500, visit www.factmr.com.

Posted October 22, 2019

GFL Environmental Inc. (GFL) has entered an agreement to acquire Canada Fibers Ltd. and its affiliates (Canada Fibers), which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019. GFL, Vaughan, ON, is a diversified environmental services company that provides nonhazardous solid waste management, infrastructure and soil remediation, and liquid waste management services in the US and Canada. Based in Toronto, ON, Canada Fibers is an operator of material recovery facilities for the recovery and processing of recyclable materials for more than 28 years. The company provides technologically advanced single-stream recycling processing services to cities in Ontario. Some materials that Canada Fibers produces are high-performance clear and colored PET, PE, and PP flakes and pellets that it derives from postconsumer and postindustrial plastics.

According to GFL, the current state of commodity markets has signaled that it’s the right time to acquire Canada Fibers, a company with long established relationships with recyclable material buyers and material recovery facilities.

Posted October 21, 2019

Volkmann Inc. has announced that it’s adding five new manufacturers’ representative groups to strengthen and improve its sales and support activities throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. The additional representatives are:

  • Pace Company of Virginia, Doris Harkness principal, to cover all of Virginia
  • Cardinal Process Solutions, Al Rodriquez principal, to cover North and South Carolina
  • PPI Technologies (West), Art and Kirk Isham principals to cover Southern California
  • PPI Technologies (East), Don Geddes principal to cover all of Florida
  • Inter-Strap Packaging, Antonio Fernandez Diaz and Jimmy Cueves principals to cover Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands.
  • The principals have attended trainings at Volkmann’s sales and testing facility in Bristol, PA, to prepare the representatives to support the supplier’s equipment in the field. Volkmann engineers and manufactures vacuum conveyors, bag-dump stations, unloaders, and equipment for the safe handling of fine chemicals, granules, pellets, tablets, food particles, and small components.

Posted October 18, 2019

Scientist at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed a healing foam that promotes rapid healing of an open wound with minimal to no tissue scarring. Researchers have named the project “Scaravoid.” The lead researcher, Markus Rottmar says that traditional treatments produce inadequate tissue responses. To solve this problem, the researchers created a foam formulated with poly-4-hydroxybutyrate, or P4HB. The foam starts the healing process by first building a scaffold. The body’s responsive repair system can deposit cells on the scaffold that would help clean the wound, and then the cells can promote new, healthy tissue growth. The foam uses a fibrous polymer that acts as storage for energy, breaking down as the body requires it and is strong and elastic. The biobased plastic can also be broken down in the human body.

In addition to the P4HB, researchers added curcumin from the root turmeric to the foam. This material has anti-inflammatory properties and dictates the behavior of the cells that are deposited on the foam’s scaffold. The improved wound healing could help older people and those with diabetes in particular as their health conditions can stymie the healing process. Avoiding scar formation can prevent pain, limited movement at the injury site, and potential infection.

Researchers plan to proceed with clinical trials in the future and the foam would take the form of large membranes that doctors could cut to size and place into wounds. Before clinical trials, the scientists will study the behavior and properties of the foam in the form of small discs.

Posted October 17, 2019

Huntsman, The Woodlands, TX, will acquire the remaining 50 percent interest in its joint venture with Sasol, the Sasol-Huntsman maleic anhydride joint venture. The joint venture owns a manufacturing facility in Moers, Germany, with the capacity to produce 230 million pounds of maleic anhydride.

According to Huntsman, the intermediate maleic anhydride can make dissimilar chemistries compatible, for example to manufacture unsaturated polyester resins. The material is also used to make copolymers that allow the use of more sustainable raw materials, for example binding wood fibers into plastic, inhibiting corrosion, and creating protective coatings for wire.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. According to Peter Huntsman, chairman, president, and CEO, “Acquiring the remaining interest in our maleic anhydride German joint venture will provide us with the flexibility to fully integrate our European business into our worldwide footprint, thereby better servicing our global customer base in key markets such as construction and coatings.”

Sasol, Sandton, South Africa, is a global integrated chemicals and energy company. Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals.

Posted October 16, 2019

Prater Industries Inc. has named Air Process and Conveyors Co. Inc. (APSCO) as its Midwest representative. Prater, headquartered in Bolingbrook, IL, is a particle sizing and separation company that offers a wide range of equipment, including lump breakers, hammermills, fine grinders, rotary screeners, and other processing equipment. APSCO, founded in 1974, is one of the largest manufacturers’ representative firms in the US. APSCO’s sales engineers have hundreds of years of combined experience and can help Prater’s customers with single components or turnkey processes.

Posted October 15, 2019

The Chemours Company, headquartered in Wilmington, DE, has announced the acquisition of Southern Ionics Minerals LLC (SIM), a minerals exploration, mining, and manufacturing company based in Jacksonville, FL. Chemours is a global chemistry company with specialties in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts, and chemical solutions. SIM was a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Ionics Inc., a privately held inorganic chemical manufacturer in West Point, MS. Once completed, SIM will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chemours and be integrated into existing operations.

SIM mines and processes titanium and zirconium mineral sands from a geological formation similar to those from Chemour’s existing mineral sands mine in Florida. The acquisition provides Chemours flexibility and scalability to internally source ore at nearly double the capacity. The acquisition includes a mineral sands processing plant in Offerman, GA; an existing mine site in Charlton County, GA; and administrative offices in Jacksonville, FL. The new assets will provide Chemours with access to large deposits of high-value ilmenite to produce titanium dioxide pigments, allowing a stable, predictable cost structure for customers.

Posted October 14, 2019

Dinnissen Process Technologies has announced that it will add a new 4,200-square-meter (45,208-square-foot) production complex at its headquarters in Sevenum, the Netherlands. The company currently employs 200 specialists that develop and produce equipment and processes in-house for efficient handling and processing of powders, granulates, and pellets. The company will build the complex next to its current factory and will include 10-metric-ton overhead cranes; wall console cranes; state-of-the-art laser cutting installations; highly accurate lathes, milling machines and press brakes; a separate stainless steel welding hall; and other equipment to meet future customer requirements.

Posted October 14, 2019

The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) and ISA, a global professional society of automation engineers and technicians based in Research Triangle Park, NC, have agreed that ISA will facilitate cybersecurity testing of prototype O-PAS-compliant components. The agreement allows OPAF to use ISASecure certification specifications as the basis for conducting assessments and issuing reports on components for automation systems. A preliminary standard of the Open Group, O-PAS is still in a prototype phase but will be commercially available in the future. OPAF established O-PAS to provide a vendor-neutral reference architecture that can enable the construction of scalable, reliable, interoperable, and secure process automation systems.

The ISASecure cybersecurity certification scheme certifies to the internationally adopted series of industrial cybersecurity standards, ISA/IEC 62443. The certification is important because it independently certifies that automation, control systems, and IOT devices are free of known vulnerabilities, robust against network attacks, and meet the security capabilities defined in the ISA/IEC 62443 standards. According to Andre Ristaino, ISA managing director, “ISA developed the ISASecure cybersecurity certification to provide asset owners assurances of cybersecurity in their automation and control systems and to promote supplier best practices that protect automation systems and the operations they control. This collaboration with OPAF is another ISASecure initiative for improving the security of automation that affects our everyday lives.”

OPAF is a consensus-based group of end users, suppliers, system integrators, standards organizations, and academia that addresses both technical and business issues for process automation. The forum focuses on developing a standards-based, open, secure, and interoperable process control architecture.

Posted October 11, 2019

U.S. Vanadium LLC announced that it will acquire Evraz Stratcor Inc., which owns and operates a facility in Hot Springs, AR, that produces high-purity vanadium oxides and downstream vanadium chemicals for customers in the catalyst, chemical, petrochemical, titanium, and energy storage industries. In operation since the 1960s, the Hot Springs facility has the capacity to process about 12 million pounds per year of vanadium pentoxide (V205). These high-purity vanadium oxides and chemicals are used in industry and various applications including: titanium alloys for aerospace applications; oxidation catalysts for the production of basic chemicals such as sulfuric acid; petrochemicals including maleic anhydride and phthalic anhydride; pollution control catalysts; pigments for high-quality paints; and various other industrial applications.

U.S Vanadium, Englewood, CO, produces and sells a range of specialty vanadium chemicals. Evraz Stratcor, is a wholly owned subsidiary of global steel and mining company Evraz, which is headquartered in London, England. Evraz Stratcor specializes in producing and supplying vanadium alloys and chemicals.

Posted October 10, 2019

Mississippi Lime Co., a global supplier of high-calcium lime product that is based in St. Louis, MO, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Calera, AL, lime business of Covia, operated historically as Southern Lime. Covia has been in operation for 60 years and has served as a supplier of high-calcium quicklime and hydrated lime products to customers in the Southeastern US. The acquisition will increase Mississippi Lime’s production facilities to nine locations, all supported by a network of distribution sites throughout the country.

Mississippi Lime is owned by HBM Holdings, an investment and management company that acquires, supports, and operates middle-market businesses in industrial products and services.

Posted October 9, 2019

The North American proppants market is expected to grow at a 7.67 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2024. The report North America Proppants Market — Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019-2024) by Research and Markets also cites improvements in fracking technology and the increasing number of shale gas production activities as market drivers but indicates that stagnant industrial growth in developed countries is expected to hinder market growth. Frac sand proppants dominated the market in 2017, but the report expects industry focus to shift toward the use of ceramic proppants in the future. Geographically, the US dominated the market for proppants in North America, with that demand expected to increase the most during the forecast period.

The report also notes that frac sand accounts for more than 90 percent of the total proppant use in the market because of the material’s efficiency, low cost, and availability. The frac sand segment is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period. Resin-coated and ceramic sands are used as proppants for specific applications that involve greater production depths and thermal resistance. In North America, fracking onshore and on the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf is expected to be focused on mature fields (requiring ceramic proppants), and rising energy demand means that both types of proppants used in hydraulic fracturing are expected to witness growth in the future. For more info and to purchase a copy of the report for $3,850, visit www.researchandmarkets.com.

Posted October 9, 2019

Rembe GmbH Safety + Control will be hosting Explosion Safety Days November 19-20 at its headquarters in Brilon, Germany. The event is aims to help operators and OEMs understand the daily challenges in food, sweets, grain, and convenience product plants as well as soft drink factories and breweries. Johannes Lottermann, director of explosion safety at the company, is personally involved in upgrading plants to ATEX and NFPA compliance in his daily work. He has put together a program for the event with speakers and experts from all relevant disciplines involved in explosion and fire protection. The event will also include a live explosion demonstration staged in a typical plant setup at the company’s research center. More info on the event is available at www.rembe.us. The company also has a location in the US and manufactures combustible dust explosion protection systems, process safety systems, and dynamic weighing systems.

Posted October 8, 2019

Two workers died in July after being trapped inside a grain storage tank. According to news reports, the two men along with a third were inside the storage tank breaking up compacted grain. At the time, the silo was estimated to be holding 180,000 bushels of grain. Authorities are investigating the incident that happened at The Andersons facility in South Toledo, OH, on July 19. According to data from Purdue University’s 2018 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities, the number of fatal, grain-related, confined-space injuries in the state was 5 in 2018 and 84 from 1962 to 2018. This data also doesn’t account for near misses or other incidents that go unreported to authorities.

The Andersons, Maumee, OH, has more than a dozen facilities in the Toledo area, with operations for the grain, ethanol, plant nutrition, and rail industries across the US.

Posted October 8, 2019

Volkmann Inc. has named Rafael Navarro as sales manager. The supplier created the position to help with the addition of its systems for additive manufacturing and the need to further improve customer support. Navarro has considerable experience in systems for pharmaceutical processing and packaging. He most recently served in sales management at Schubert Packaging and Bosch Packaging Technology. The supplier, Bristol, PA, manufactures pneumatic vacuum conveyors and unloading equipment for the food, pharmaceutical, chemical and additive manufacturing industries.