News Update

1/18/2017 - OSHA awards $10.5 million in workplace safety and health training grants

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded $10.5 million in 1-year federal safety and health training grants to 77 nonprofit organizations nationwide. The grants will provide training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces. They will also inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the OSH Act.

The Susan Harwood Training Grants Program funds grants to nonprofit organizations, including community or faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor and management associations, colleges, and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries. The program has provided training for approximately 2.1 million workers since 1978. The training grant program's name honors Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's former Directorate of Health Standards, who passed away in 1996.

OSHA is awarding approximately $3.6 million in new targeted topic training grants to 28 organizations to develop materials and programs addressing workplace hazards and prevention strategies. These grant types require recipients to address occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA, including silica, confined spaces, workplace violence, and other workplace hazards. In addition, 11 organizations will receive approximately $1.5 million in new capacity building grants to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to workers and employers in targeted populations. One of the 11 organizations will receive a capacity-building pilot grant designed to assist organizations in assessing their needs and formulating a capacity-building plan before launching a full-scale safety and health education program.

OSHA also awarded approximately $4 million in follow-on grants to 26 capacity-building developmental grantees and $1.4 million in follow-on grants to 12 targeted topic grantees that performed satisfactorily during the fiscal year 2015 grant period.


1/17/2017 - Southern Fluid Systems expands

ATLANTA, Ga.–Southern Fluid Systems Inc., a provider of powder coating and liquid coating systems and service in the southeast, has announced its expansion into a new 31,000-square-foot facility. The new facility, located in the Gateway Industrial Park in Atlanta, Ga., will be renovated and ready for a November opening date.


1/13/2017 - Verdezyne wins green chemistry award

CARLSBAD, Calif.–A component used in corrosion inhibitors and other kinds of paints, coatings, and sealants came up big as winner of this year's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Small Business Award. Verdezyne Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., was the recipient of the award in the 2016 Challenge, run by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company was honored for its development of Biolon DDDA, a bio-based chemical used in molding resins, adhesives, and paints and coatings.

DDDA (dodecanedioic acid) is a dicarboxylic acid, previously produced from butadiene, a flammable, toxic gas that's a known carcinogen. New developments have allowed DDDA to be produced using yeast instead. Verdezyne developed a way to make Biolon from low-cost, plant-oil sourced feedstocks. The company says the substance can be used in formulating epoxy resins, powder coatings, and corrosion inhibitors in addition to high-performance polyamides and synthetic lubricants.

For 21 years, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has annually recognized landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn climate risk and other environmental problems into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judges the submissions from among scores of nominated technologies. Winners of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award reduce the use of energy, hazardous chemicals, and water while cutting manufacturing costs and sparking investments.


1/12/2017 - Smart release coating holds off rust

SWANSEA, Wales–Researchers have developed a smart release coating that could serve as a potential alternative to the use of hexavalent chromium as a corrosion inhibitor. The work of the Swansea University team, led by Professor Geraint Williams, is said to provide a safer, smarter way of protecting steel from rust and corrosion. Their breakthrough comes at an important time as hexavalent chromium, the corrosion inhibitor used most widely at this time, is scheduled to be banned across the European Union in 2019. Corrosion inhibitors are commonly used in a wide range of applications, including coated steel products used in building construction, as well as the aerospace, aircraft, and automotive industries.

Patrick Dodds, a graduate student in the school's College of Engineering, is credited with discovering the material and manufacturing process for a smart release coating said to outperform hexavalent chromium in laboratory tests. The team's method involves a stored reservoir of corrosion inhibitor. By channeling aggressive electrolyte anions (negatively charged ions) into the coating, the release of the inhibitor is triggered on demand in order to prevent corrosion. According to the researchers, the product outperformed hexavalent chromium in salt spray testing, the standard test for corrosion.


1/11/2017 - Axalta introduces new architectural coating

HOUSTON, Tex.–Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has expanded its architectural-grade powder coating palette with the new Alesta AR400 Champagne Metallic color. The new color is formulated to produce a smooth, metallic coverage with excellent abrasion and corrosion resistant properties. The low VOC product was created with sustainability in mind, and it is formulated for superior storage stability and transfer efficiency.


1/10/2017 - CCAI brings education and chapter activity to Alabama

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) is returning to Alabama Power's Technology Applications Center (TAC) in Calera, Ala., in February 2017 to present the popular Powder Coating and Curing Processes Seminar. A proven success, this seminar provides attendees with important training and valuable networking to increase every day productivity and improve processes.

The day and a half seminar features a thorough introduction to the powder coating process, including cleaning and pretreatment, powder coating materials, application equipment and booths, curing options, part movement, running an efficient system, and testing methods. All the classroom training will be instructed by industry experts from some of the leading companies in the finishing business.

Along with the educational instruction, attendees will spend time in the fully equipped lab at the TAC to experience live demonstrations and opportunities for hands-on training. This interactive format allows attendees to get applied knowledge of the technologies they are learning in the classroom. Attendees will have the chance to powder coat and cure a part onsite to take home with them. For complete details and to register, visit www.ccaiweb.com.


1/9/2017 - Maroon Group earns recognition from Ohio EPA

AVON, Ohio—Maroon Group LLC, a supplier of specialty additives, resins, and pigments, has achieved recognition from a state agency tasked with protecting the environment and public health by ensuring compliance with environmental laws and encouraging environmental stewardship. The company was recognized by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for its commitment to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and continuously work to progress as an environmental steward.

Maroon Group successfully met the criteria for the Achievement Level of the agency's Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program, which requires participants to demonstrate significant progress in at least 7 of 22 environmental stewardship criteria. Part of the company's eligibility came from participation in Responsible Distribution, a third-party-verified environmental, health, safety, and security program administered by the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD). The NACD system enables companies to demonstrate their commitment to continuous performance improvement in every phase of chemical storage, handling, transportation, and disposal.


1/6/2017 - Tnemec's new coating targets rusted steel

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Tnemec Co. Inc., a high-performance protective coatings manufacturer, has introduced a mastic waterborne acrylic built for overcoating rusted steel. Series 118 UniBond Mastic is a single-component, mastic waterborne acrylic coating designed for use on minimally prepared sound rusted steel and previously coated surfaces in a range of environments. The rust-inhibitive coat can be used with acrylic and solventborne urethane and fluoropolymer finish coats. The coating reportedly delivers strong adhesion properties, as well as excellent flexibility and impact resistance.


1/5/2017 - Huntsman launches color pigments plant

THE WOODLANDS, Tex.—Huntsman Corp., a global consumer and industrial chemical manufacturer, is building a color pigments facility in Augusta, Ga. The facility represents an investment of more than $172 million and reportedly has the capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons of yellow, red, and black iron oxide pigments annually. The new site will serve as the North American hub for Huntsman's global pigments and additives business.


1/4/2017 - PPG backs its hometown team

PITTSBURGH, Pa.–With its global headquarters in town and 2,300 employees in the region, PPG says it's proud to call Pittsburgh home. The coatings giant took that pride one step further by acquiring the naming rights of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins arena. The facility will now be known as PPG Paints Arena.

Previously known as the Consol Energy Center, the facility, which opened in 2010, has hosted more than 150 events each year as well as serving as the home ice for the Stanley Cup champions. Financial terms of PPG's agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins were not disclosed. The agreement calls for the building to be renamed immediately and to remain so named for 20 years.

PPG also says it has become the team's official paint supplier and that signage both inside and outside the arena will soon bear the new name and logo. The company's paints and protective coatings products were used throughout the facility at the time of construction.

In addition to the new brand presence at the arena, PPG says it will also have name recognition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Lemieux Sports Complex in nearby Cranberry, Pa., which serves as the primary practice and training facility for the NHL team as well as an outpatient facility for UPMC Sports Medicine.


1/3/2017 - OSHA cites automotive parts manufacturer

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nakanishi Manufacturing Corp.'s Winterville, Ga., facility for proposed penalties of $144,995. The agency issued citations to the manufacturer for 1 willful, 18 serious, and 1 other-than-serious safety and health violations.

The citations are in relation to a 33-year-old maintenance technician worker's injuries in September 2015. The worker was operating a dust collector when an explosion occurred. Flames engulfed the man, causing third-degree burns to his upper body. OSHA opened an investigation after learning of the employee's hospitalization. The employee continues to recover from his injuries.

OSHA states that Nakanishi had four previous fires in the dust collection system in Winterville and management knew that the combustible dust hazard was not corrected, yet they continued to let workers operate the system. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of their citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


1/2/2017 - OSHA proposes rule to improve provisions in its standards

WASHINGTON, D.C.–As part of an ongoing effort to revise provisions in its standards that may be confusing, outdated, or unnecessary, OSHA is proposing 18 changes to the agency's recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction standards. The changes would modernize OSHA standards, help employers better understand their responsibilities, increase compliance, and reduce compliance costs. The revisions would improve the safety and health protections afforded to workers across all industries.

The proposed revisions would save employers an estimated $3.2 million per year. They are based on responses to a public Request for Information issued in 2012 as well as recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, OSHA staff, and the Office of Management and Budget.

Individuals may submit comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Comments must be submitted by Dec. 5, 2016. This is the fourth rule proposed under OSHA's Standards Improvement Project, which began in 1995 in response to a Presidential memorandum to improve government regulations.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.


12/30/2016 - Courses: February 2017

Feb. 7-8: 2017 NACE 10,000 Lakes Pipeline Corrosion Control Seminar. Mystic Lake Hotel and Conference Center, Prior Lake, Minn. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Jennifer Sweney at 763/784-9144; fax 281/228-6300; jsweney@generalcorrosioncorp.com; www.nace.org.

Feb. 7-8: Powder Coating 202 Workshop. Westland, Mich. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

Feb. 8-9: Liberty Bell Corrosion Course. Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center, Montgomery County, Pa. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact David Krause at 610/868-9352; fax 281/228-6300; corban598@outlook.com; www.nace.org.

Feb. 13-17: Polymers and Coatings Winter Short Course. Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center, San Luis Obispo, Calif. Sponsored by the Polymers and Coatings Program of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department of the College of Science and Mathematics at California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University. Contact Ray Fernando at 805/756-2395; pandc@calpoly.edu; www.polymerscoatings.calpoly.edu.

Feb. 21-22: Powder Coating and Curing Processes Seminar. Alabama Power Technology Applications Center, Calera, Ala. Sponsored by the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). Contact Kelly LeCount at 859/356-1030; fax 859/356-0908; kelly@goyermgt.com; www.ihea.org.

Feb. 21-23: 56th Annual Underground Corrosion Short Course. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Ray Bingman at 812/491-4573; fax 281/228-6300; erbingman@vectren.com; www.nace.org.


12/29/2016 - Evonik grows its additives portfolio

PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Specialty chemicals company Evonik Industries AG has strengthened its position in the specialty and coating additives market by purchasing the Performance Materials Division of Air Product and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, Pa. The proposed deal is valued at $3.8 billion and is expected to close at the end of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. The Performance Materials Division consists of epoxy curing agents, polyurethane additives, and specialty additives businesses. The products are used in a variety of markets, including construction, marine, automotive, and industrial cleaning.


12/28/2016 - Winona Powder Coating gains UL recertification

ETNA GREEN, Ind.—Winona Powder Coating, a high-volume powder coater, has announced that it has been awarded recertification by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), meeting standards in both the US and Canada. Winona's UL recertification, along with the company's ISO9001 and JDM F17 certifications, conveys its dedication to meeting customers' high expectations. In addition to the UL recertification, Winona is currently in the process of seeking the AAMA 2604 specification. This specification is applicable to coatings of at least 30 microns thickness and intended primarily for commercial and architectural-grade applications. Over the next few months, tests will be conducted to evaluate abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, and weathering. This specification recognizes high-performance coatings that can involve nonphosphate pretreatments, a necessity in some markets where phosphate pretreatments are not allowed due to environmental concerns.


12/27/2016 - AGC notes that the construction market is expanding

ARLINGTON, Va.—According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), all signs point to a strengthening construction market. Two recent federal reports showing a sharp rise in construction employment and a solid increase in construction spending have led AGC officials to analyze and conclude that the industry is steadily expanding to meet growing demand.

Between February and March, employers added 37,000 construction jobs, bringing the total to 6,672,000. Between March 2015 and March 2016, the US added 301,000 construction jobs, and unemployment in the industry decreased to 8.7 percent, a 10-year low. The number of unemployed construction workers totaled 768,000, the lowest March total since 2001.

Employment expanded in both residential and nonresidential construction. Nonresidential building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms increased their headcount by 23,900 workers in March and by 134,800 since March 2015. Residential building and specialty trade contractors added 13,400 employees in March and 166,000 over the last 12 months.


12/22/2016 - Polymer self-repairs at body temperature

READING, UK—Scientists at the University of Reading are at work on a self-healing polymer that may find use in automotive coatings as well as other industrial and biomedical applications. The UK researchers indicate their polymer material is able to heal itself at body temperature, which they believe also opens it up to be used as self-healing wound dressings for use in medicine.

When compared to self-healing plastics, the scientists note the significance in their discovery is that their new material is safe to humans and able to repair itself at temperatures as low as 98.6°F, making it well suited to healthcare applications. When cut with a razor or scraped, the supramolecular polyurethane is essentially able to flow like a liquid to fill in the damaged area within a few hours before its molecules bind together to become solid again.

While the team is currently focusing its work on the healthcare market, the program has noted that in the future materials with these properties could be developed into self-healing coatings for buildings that would provide protection against weather and environment related damage. Other potential applications include self-healing vehicle paints and coatings for devices like mobile phones, which could repair scratches or scuffs automatically with only mild heat.


12/21/2016 - Titan introduces new ergonomic spray gun

PLYMOUTH, Minn.—The new RXPRO airless spray gun from Titan purports to help the user stay more comfortable during long jobs. The company recommends its use in a variety of applications, including commercial, protective coatings, line striping, field and pavement markings, and more. The spray gun is rated for 3,600 psi and comes with ergonomic features that enable longer application. The product is said to decrease operator fatigue with the lightest trigger pull in its class. The spray gun features three interchangeable grip sizes, making it possible to fit any paint contractor's hand size. Additional features include a one-touch trigger lock, free-flow swivel for easy maneuvering, built-in filter removal wrench, and bucket and ladder hooks.


12/20/2016 - EPA adds sites to NPL to reduce risk to public health and the environment

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding five and proposing to add eight hazardous waste sites to the Superfund program's National Priorities List (NPL). These are sites with known or threatened hazardous waste releases that could pose risks to public health and the environment.

A site's addition to the NPL helps address potential adverse human health impacts. Academic research shows that investment in Superfund cleanups reduces the incidence of congenital abnormalities in infants by as much as 25 percent for those living within approximately a mile and a quarter of a site. Cleanups involving lead-contaminated soil have contributed to documented reduced blood-lead levels in children. If left unaddressed, elevated blood-lead levels may result in irreversible neurological deficits, such as lowered intelligence and attention-related behavioral problems.

EPA says that adding a site to the NPL generates new jobs and creates stronger local economies that will strengthen communities for years to come. Currently, more than 850 Superfund sites nationwide have some type of actual or planned reuse underway.

EPA responds to requests from states, tribes, and communities to propose a site for NPL addition when non-NPL response options have not proved viable. Prior to adding a site to the NPL, the agency works closely with states and tribes and seeks public comment. Community partnerships are critical to Superfund site cleanups. EPA's goal is to work with community partners at every site by establishing an effective process with the necessary tools and information needed to fully explore future uses before the cleanup remedy's selection.

The five sites added and eight sites under consideration potentially affect drinking water, groundwater, soil, wetlands, and fishing for human consumption. Contaminants found at the sites include arsenic, mercury, uranium, cadmium, copper, manganese, zinc, aluminum, chromium, lead, trichloroethane (TCA), and trichloroethylene (TCE).


12/16/2016 - Fresh Coat Painters opens in Winter Garden

WINTER GARDEN, Fla.— After Rich Emery had a great experience having his local Fresh Coat Painters company paint his home, he saw a perfect opportunity to expand that service to other communities. Now, he's the proud owner of his own Fresh Coat Painters franchise that serves Winter Garden, Ocoee, Clermont, Apopka, Celebration and surrounding Floridian communities. Fresh Coat of Winter Garden offers residential and commercial painting services, including interior and exterior painting, wood staining and finishing, and other services for nearly every protective coating application. The company uses quality, environmentally safe materials and offers online scheduling, in-home color design consultations, and detailed guaranteed quotes. Fresh Coat offers a 3-3-3 customer service pledge—calls will be answered by a live person within 3 minutes, a quote will be delivered within 3 days (customer schedule permitting), and the job will be started within 3 weeks.


12/15/2016 - Jetstream's new waterblast system offers two units in one

HOUSTON, Tex.—Jetstream of Houston LLP, a manufacturer of industrial high-pressure waterblasting equipment, has introduced a heavy-duty system that provides two waterblasting units on a single trailer. The new TwinForce dual pump 650-horsepower waterblast system is designed for high-flow applications such as industrial cleaning, surface preparation, and hydrodemolition. The system can be used as a single large-capacity 650-horsepower unit or as two 325-horsepower independently run units.


12/14/2016 - Topcoat introduced for demanding markets

MANCHESTER, U.K.—Paint and coatings manufacturer HMG Paints Ltd. has introduced its new high-performance two-component acrylic polyurethane finish. Acrythane ACE is described as a high solids, low-VOC topcoat designed to meet the requirements of commercial transport, OEM, and agricultural and construction equipment applications. The company's R&D team worked with customers to develop a formula using the latest resin technology to offer high durability and chemical resistance. The coating can be applied by conventional/airless, air assisted, or pressure pot systems. It features improved antisagging and antimarring properties, and can be polished to remove dirt inclusions if necessary. The product can be air dried or baked.


12/12/2016 - Vantablack coating heads to space

NEWHAVEN, U.K.—The blackest coating on earth has made it into orbit. Vantablack is an ultrablack coating developed by the UK-based Surrey Nanosystems that uses carbon nanotubes to create a surface that absorbs nearly all the light that hits it.

The blacker-than-black coloring has now made it to space for the first time aboard the Kent Ridge 1 satellite. Berlin Space Technology, which worked with the National University of Singapore on the Kent Ridge project, used Vantablack coating on baffles around the star tracker on the satellite to minimize reflection of light around the tool. The satellite was launched into orbit last December, though it wasn't announced that Vantablack was included in the design until recently. Kent Ridge 1 is a low-Earth orbit satellite, meaning it orbits at an altitude below 1,243 miles.

Vantablack can be applied in two ways: It can be directly applied to a substrate using vacuum deposition, or it can be sprayed on and processed after. The spray-applied version of the product is called Vantablack SVIS and is technically slightly less black than the original Vantablack. The product coating the baffles on Kent Ridge 1 is Vantablack SVIS. Vantablack SVIS is the more versatile of the two substances and can be applied to a variety of substrates, resulting in reflectance of less than 0.2 percent.


12/8/2016 - Researchers use nanoparticles to bolster PTFE

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—Researchers at the University of Arkansas are studying a method of using nanoparticles to increase the sturdiness in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings, commonly known as Teflon. Professors Min Zou and Jingyi Chen are set to receive a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to expand their research into the effect of incorporating polydopamine-coated nanoparticles into applications of PTFE.

The researchers hope to increase the compound's adhesion and decrease the effects of wear. So far, they are looking into two approaches: adding a thin underlayer of polydopamine underneath the PTFE to help it adhere to the substrate, or adding polydopamine-coated nanostructures directly into the PTFE formulation.

Polydopamine was first recognized in 2007, the result of the self-polymerization of the organic compound dopamine. Its developers were inspired by adhesive proteins that occur naturally in mussels. In the years since, the compound has been studied for use both in medical applications and as an adhesive in other settings.

The scientists anticipate that their new approach will allow thin, wear-resistant PTFE coatings to be deposited on any substrate material without changing the underlining surface topography. This could lead to a wide range of properties, such as self-cleaning, antifogging, anti-icing, anticorrosion, and others, that rely on surface topography and chemistry for proper function.


12/6/2016 - MSA opens new safety center

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa.—A global manufacturer of safety products has announced the opening of its new high-tech safety training center. MSA—The Safety Co. says its new three-story, indoor training complex represents nearly a million dollar investment, enabling the company to offer a wide array of training courses covering nearly every industry the company serves.

The training center is filled with an intricate rig of ladders, platforms, manholes, and escape windows, enabling it to simulate a variety of true-to-life worker safety scenarios. The facility was developed to train industrial workers, construction contractors, utility workers, and firefighters on how to properly select, inspect, and use personal protective equipment (PPE) in a hands-on, application-based atmosphere.

Confined spaces training gets special emphasis, utilizing custom enclosures for workers to practice climbing and crawling, as well as provisions for pre-entry atmospheric testing/monitoring and related respiratory protection devices. Instruction on the repair and maintenance of PPE is also available to instill the confidence in trainees to run their own maintenance programs back at their own facilities.

The training facility is located at the Regional Learning Alliance (RLA), a modern technology-based conference and training center north of Philadelphia. In addition to the safety training areas, the center also includes a modular classroom setting consistent with the continuing education mission of the RLA.


12/5/2016 - AMT, SME to coproduce five manufacturing events

CHICAGO, Ill.—The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and SME have announced a new partnership to produce a series of regional co-branded trade shows focused on the manufacturing technology industry. The collaboration will encompass the existing EASTEC, WESTEC, SOUTH-TEC, HOUSTEX, and Mfg4 events.

The new events will feature a blend of education, applications, and technology innovation, particularly in the areas of digital manufacturing, automation, MTConnect and the Industrial IoT. Mirroring the industry trend of regionalized manufacturing in the US, each event will include a mix of topics and technologies that are of specific interest to that region. The 2017 and 2018 events will benefit from the partnership with innovative new learning opportunities, new interactive exhibits, and more ways for attendees and exhibitors to connect and collaborate.


12/2/2016 - House attempts to stall overtime rule

WASHINGTON, D.C.–With the Labor Department's controversial overtime rule set to be enacted in just one month, the US House of Representatives passed a bill intended to delay its start by six months. This is just the latest volley in the dispute over the rule that aims to increase wages for approximately 4.2 million Americans.

The “Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act” passed the House by a vote of 246 to 177 at the end of September. Rep. Tim Walberg (RMI), who introduced the legislation, said the overtime rule makes drastic changes that will result in harmful consequences for workers, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities.

Originally set to take effect December 1, the new overtime wage rule, which alters the Fair Labor Standards Act, would extend overtime protections to 4.2 million Americans who are not currently eligible for them under federal law. Most significantly, the final rule raises the salary threshold indicating overtime eligibility from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). The rule follows a March 13, 2014, Presidential Memorandum directing the Labor Department to update the overtime standards.

The House vote comes less than 10 days after officials from 21 states sued the Obama Administration, saying that the overtime rule would place a heavy burden on state budgets, force layoffs, and boost employment costs. The states, including Texas, Louisiana, and Nevada, asked the US District Court of Eastern District of Texas to block the rule and ultimately overturn it.

Hours after the states announced their legal challenge, the Associated Builders and Contractors along with a coalition of other groups also filed a federal lawsuit in the same court seeking to overturn the rule. Construction is one of the major industries where the new rule will have the biggest impact. The construction industry trade groups have also applauded the House's bill to delay its implementation.

Overtime protections require employers to pay one-and-a-half times an employee's regular rate of pay for any work past 40 hours a week. To comply with the new rule, employers can pay time-and-a-half for overtime work, raise workers' salaries above the new threshold ($134,004 per year), limit workers' hours to 40 hours per week, or do any combination of these. The department specifically notes that the FLSA's “duties test” was not modified. The test determines whether white collar salaried workers earning more than the salary threshold are ineligible for overtime pay.


12/1/2016 - CCAI launches new chapters, names scholarship winners

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) has launched new chapters in Georgia and Alabama. Chapters are the heart of CCAI and they provide significant educational and networking opportunities for those in the finishing industry. The Georgia chapter board of directors are: Derek Dennis, Heraeus Noblelight, president; Ed Harmon, Georgia Power, vice president; Lowell Lampe, Coral Chemicals, treasurer; and Brit Metcalf, IFS Coatings, secretary. The Alabama chapter board of directors are: David Boone, Alabama Power, president; Hank Arnold, Alabama Washer and Ovens, vice president; and Ryan Bonds, CCIS, secretary.

In addition, CCAI has named its 2016 scholarship recipients. For the past several years, CCAI has awarded scholarship money from the CCAI Matt Heuertz Scholarship Fund to students in programs (technical schools, high schools, and colleges) geared toward coatings and finishing. CCAI received many qualified applicants and is excited to watch the growth of this program as it continues to attract bright new talent to the industrial finishing and coatings industry.

Each of the following students received a Matt Heuertz Scholarship of $2,000: Marissa White, University of Wisconsin—Green Bay; Ryley Roeser, University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire; and Mitchell Pagel, University of Minnesota. The Matt Heuertz Scholarship program is sustained by the national CCAI and donations from CCAI chapters.

CCAI chapters have also instituted scholarship programs for students in their region to support the growing need for young people in the finishing industry. More than $30,000 in scholarships has been awarded in 2016 between the national and chapter awards. Each recipient has also received a 1-year student membership in CCAI.

Winners of the Twin Cities Chapter Scholarships are: Brody Maki, Jenny Henningsen, Mitchell Pagel, and Hannah Striggow. The West Michigan Chapter Scholarship winners are: Claire Elizabeth Farrington, Joseph Farrington, Briana Sanchez, Madeline Andrusiak, and Jacob Pelak. The Wisconsin Chapter Scholarship winners are: Francis Roushar, The James Wright Memorial Scholarship; Marissa White, The Dave Wright Memorial Scholarship; and Brent Groubert, The Jim Steffes Memorial Scholarship. General scholarships were also awarded to: Austin Weaton, Emily Garczynski, Evan Degler, and Amanda Cieslinski.

CCAI will be accepting applications for its 2017 scholarship program beginning in January 2017. Applications can be submitted online at www.ccaiweb.com.


11/30/2016 - PCI's technical conference heads to Indianapolis next March

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) has announced that the PCI POWDER COATING 2017 Technical Conference will be held March 27-31, 2017, at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. Representatives from manufacturing OEMs and custom coaters who apply powder coating and other industrial finishes will be attending this event.

The event will kick off on Monday and Tuesday with PCI's Powder Coating 101: Basic Essentials Hands-On Workshop. The workshop includes a comprehensive agenda that covers all the basics of powder coating operations and concludes with hands-on training demonstrations at an area powder coating manufacturer's facility.

The conference will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, complete with general sessions each morning followed by concurrent technical sessions. The conference will also include tabletop displays featuring powder coating manufacturers, powder coating application equipment, system houses, chemical suppliers, and the various services that support the powder coating industry.

The week will conclude with the Custom Coater Forum. This day-and-a-half forum provides custom coaters with valuable information they can use to improve their business through a series of great presentations and networking with others in the industry.


11/29/2016 - SSPC issues two revised standards

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings has announced new revisions to two of its standards: SSPC-PA 2, Procedure for Determining Conformance to Dry Coating Thickness Requirements, and the joint standard SSPC-CS23.00/AWS C2.23M/NACE No. 12, Specification for the Application of Thermal Spray Coatings (Metallizing) of Aluminum, Zinc, and Their Alloys and Composites for the Corrosion Protection of Steel. All standards are available in the SSPC Marketplace at www.sspc.org.

SSPC-PA 2 is a tool for property owners and specifiers to use in specifying dry coating thickness, and for contractors and inspectors to use in determining compliance with specifications. The most recent revision of SSPCPA2 was released in January 2015. These new revisions are editorial in nature, such as updated units of measure.

SSPC-CS23.00 is a joint standard issued by SSPC, the American Welding Society (AWS), and NACE International. It is designed for use by facility owners and specifiers, inspectors, and contractors in applications of thermal spray coatings. The standard establishes minimum requirements for surface preparation before thermal spray application, application of thermal spray coatings, and application of sealers or topcoats over thermal spray coatings. The 2016 revision of this standard includes a reorganization of the previous 2003 version, as well as a revision of requirements. New appendices also describe optional procedures for verifying adhesion and thermal spray coating thickness. Appendices that described or applied to procurement and contract requirements were removed.


11/28/2016 - Trade groups take a closer look at overtime rule

WASHINGTON, D.C.—While the US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new rule implementing changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations governing who is exempt from overtime, construction industry trade groups have shared concerns that the ruling will place a heavy burden on contractors.

The DOL's Wage and Hour Division's changes to the FLSA are expected to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million more Americans who are not currently eligible under federal law, and are further expected to boost wages for workers by $12 billion over the next 10 years. The changes take effect on December 1. Overtime protections require employers to pay one-and-a-half times an employee's regular rate of pay for any work past 40 hours a week. The rule follows a March 13, 2014, Presidential Memorandum directing the Labor Department to update the overtime standards.

Most significantly, the final rule raises the salary threshold indicating overtime eligibility from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). The Labor Department's initially proposed threshold was $50,440, but was lowered in response to comments received during rulemaking. Officials said more than 270,000 stakeholder comments helped shape the final rule. The rule also updates the total annual compensation level above which most white collar workers will be ineligible for overtime, raising the level from the current $100,000 per year, to $134,004 per year. Under the new rule, the salary thresholds will automatically update every three years, based on wage growth over time, which helps to increase predictability, according to officials. Those updates begin Jan. 1, 2020.

According to the DOL, to comply with the new rule, employers can pay time-and-a-half for overtime work, raise workers' salaries above the new threshold, limit workers' hours to 40 hours per week, or do any combination of these. The department specifically notes that the FLSA's “duties test” was not modified. The test determines whether white collar salaried workers earning more than the salary threshold are ineligible for overtime pay.

The Economic Policy Institute reports that construction is one of the major industries where the new rule will have the biggest impact. Yet, construction industry trade groups are not pleased with the changes, noting that the measure could backfire and hurt workers. These groups feel that the overtime rule will rob employers of needed flexibility and employees of career advancement avenues, and that it will have a disruptive effect on the construction industry as a whole as the unprecedented increase in the salary threshold may force some contractors to consider switching certain employees from salaried positions to hourly. Many organizations are supporting the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, legislation aimed at withdrawing the rule.


11/28/2016 - Upcoming Courses: January 2017

Jan. 17-18: 47th Annual Northern Plains Corrosion Control Short Course. Embassy Suites, La Vista, Nebr. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Kerry Jonas at 402/426-4143; fax 281/228-6300; firstservice@nace.org; www.nace.org.

Jan. 17-18: Powder Coating 101 Workshop. Atlanta, Ga. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

Jan. 26-27: Rocky Mountain Short Course. Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colo. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Candy Balerio at 303/859-1253; fax 281/228-6300; firstservice@nace.org; www.nace.org.


11/23/2016 - Axalta products share the stage at the Olympics

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—The flames have been extinguished on the Olympic and Paralympic torches, but the coating on them remains vibrant. Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, manufactures the Alesta AP Polyester Architectural coating that was applied to this year's Olympic and Paralympic torches by Pinturas Boronat S.L., Barcelona, Spain.

The torches are made with recycled aluminum that was coated using Alesta AE30109207221 white pearl powder. This coating selection provided the performance and film properties needed to protect the 27-inch-high torches against environmental elements such as humidity, abrasion, weathering, and the famous Olympic flame. This year's flame was designed to be able to withstand gusts of wind up to 75 miles per hour. When lit, the torches extended an additional 28 inches and displayed the colors of the Brazilian flag. Wavy lines were incorporated into the torch design to represent the earth, the sea, and the mountains. In addition to coating the torches, Axalta's Alesta EP Silver Delight II powder coating was used to coat 19,620 units of metal beds for the Rio Olympics Village.


11/22/2016 - PCI launches new video series

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) has introduced a new video entitled “Powder Coating, A Better Kind of Paint.” This is the first in a series of videos focused on expanding awareness about the benefits of powder coating. Additional videos are planned for release over the next year, with each one focused on increasing awareness and inspiring consumers to purchase products that have a powder coated finish, as well as encouraging OEMs to consider the strong value gained by producing their products with a powder coated finish.

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