Tim Tufts, Ph.D., has been selected as the new leader of the recently announced technology center that Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) is constructing in Shanghai, China. As technology manager for Ashland China, Tufts will serve as a member of the Ashland China Leadership Team and report to Ashland China President Dale MacDonald.

“Ashland is making continued investments in the region, and Tim's addition to the China team is a significant step in developing our technical capabilities within the region,” said MacDonald. “Tim led numerous important scientific projects in our U.S. research facilities and was instrumental in the company’s technical recruiting activities over the past few years. We are looking forward to his leadership as we build and introduce new capabilities and applications for the China market.”

In his new role, Tufts will develop and manage the Ashland China Technology Center. The facility will house staff and equipment to provide product and application development, as well as analytical support for the region.

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Global specialty chemicals manufacturer Cray Valley has announced the opening of a 900-square-foot hydrocarbon resins lab at its existing Exton, PA, facility. The new lab enables the company to increase product research, raw material evaluation, and new product development.

In addition to the lab space, Cray Valley also built a 250-square foot Constant Temperature and Humidity Test Room to meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.

"These new facilities demonstrate Cray Valley's clear commitment to industry innovation," said Charles-Henri Robert, managing director, hydrocarbon resins. "Working with the best possible technology allows us to continue to set new standards in product research and development."

With the new lab, Cray Valley gains additional capabilities, including mixing molten materials with a Sigma-blade mixer and coating pressure-sensitive adhesives using a hot-melt coater-laminator. The lab will evaluate a broad range of adhesives, including hot-melt and pressure-sensitive, to meet established standards from the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council, Federation Internationale des Fabricants et Transformateurs d'Adhesifs et Thermocollants, Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Association of European Adhesives and Sealants Manufacturers, and other organizations.

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In keeping with its goal of providing customers with the highest quality machines, parts, and service, Diamond America Corp. has announced the relocation of its offices and the merging of its manufacturing facility with that of its sister company, Akron Tool & Die. The move is described as a step toward growing and strengthening as an extrusion resource, not just a manufacturer. Diamond America’s new location will allow the company to expand its laboratory showcasing its table-top and pilot size extruders, dies, and cutters, while the merger with ATD will provide access to tremendous CNC capability. Combined, the two companies’ many years of service to a diverse field of extrusion processing should allow for innovative solutions to the challenges of feeding, forming, and pelletizing an infinite number of products and materials

Starting November 1, 2007, Diamond America Corp. will be located at 151 Miller Ave., Akron, OH 44301.

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Dyneon, one of the world’s leading fluoropolymer suppliers, has announced the appointment of Netha N. Johnson as president and general manager.

As president and general manager of Dyneon LLC, Johnson will be responsible for the global achievement of Dyneon’s business objectives. Johnson takes over the role of president from Bill Myers, who in August of 2007 was named general manager of 3M Energy and Advanced Materials Division.

Johnson comes to Dyneon from 3M’s Industrial and Transportation Business, where he served as director of Lean Six Sigma. Prior to that, Johnson held the position of marketing director for 3M Energy and Advanced Materials Division. Johnson assumes the role of president on October 1, 2007.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University. Prior to 3M, Johnson held leadership roles with Brooks Automation, Inc., serving the company from its locations in Europe and in Asia.

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LANXESS AG, Leverkusen, will now position itself as a specialty chemicals group following the divestment of its Lustran Polymers business unit. “Our place is as a specialty chemicals group at the core of the chemical industry,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Management Board chairman. “This is where we have the best expertise, already occupy leading market positions, have an excellent customer base, operate close to the final markets and can exploit the advantages of our global asset network.”

As part of a systematic market orientation, LANXESS will organize its 13 business units into three segments starting in October 2007 following the divestment of the commodity plastics activities. The new segments are named Performance Polymers, Advanced Intermediates and Performance Chemicals.

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RPM International Inc. today announced at its annual meeting of stockholders that its board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.190 per share, payable on October 31, 2007, to stockholders of record as of October 19, 2007. This payment represents an 8.6% increase over the $0.175 quarterly cash dividend paid at this time last year.

This action marks RPM’s 34th consecutive year of increased cash dividends paid to its stockholders, which places RPM in an elite category of less than half of one percent of all 19,000 publicly-traded U.S. companies. Only 70 other companies, besides RPM, have consecutively paid an increasing annual dividend for this period of time or longer, according to the 2008 edition ofAmerica’s Finest Companies. At a share price of $23.50, RPM's dividend yield would be 3.23%.

“Today’s increase of our dividend to $0.190 is in line with our stated intent to annually grow our dividend, which is enabled by our strong cash flow, stable business performance and outlook for continuing growth,” said president and chief executive officer Frank C. Sullivan.

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