Recognizing the importance of sustainability in composites technology, Ashland Composite Polymers, a business group of Ashland Performance Materials, a division of Ashland Inc., will sponsor the 2008 Green Composites Award at the American Composite Manufacturers Association’s annual convention.

“Ashland has had a sustainable component in its product development for many years,” said William England, director of global technology for Ashland’s Composite Polymers business. “We felt by sponsoring this award we could help the industry to focus on a more sustainable approach to composite growth and development.”

Entries will be judged for use of green materials (such as bio-derived or recycled materials), processes that are energy efficient, and/or end product performance that either reduces environmental impact throughout a product’s life cycle or provides a recycling component upon the end of the product’s useful life.

Ashland Composite Polymers, a business group of Ashland Performance Materials, is a leader in supplying products, processes and technologies to the global marketplace for composites and gelcoats.

Ashland Performance Materials, a division of Ashland Inc., is a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of specialty chemicals and customized services to the building and construction, packaging and converting, transportation, marine, and metal casting industries. It is a technology leader in metal casting consumables and design services; unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins and gelcoats; and high-performance adhesives and specialty resins.

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Henkel Huawei Electronics Co. Ltd., a joint venture of Huawei Electronics and Henkel Corp., recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art mold compound manufacturing facility in Lianyungang, China.

Henkel Huawei Electronics’ continued growth has necessitated additional manufacturing lines to support its global customer base. The new operation will encompass 16,000 square meters of administrative and manufacturing space and will have a total production capacity of 25,000 tons of material annually.

With production of more than ten patented epoxy mold compound formulations, Henkel Huawei’s Lianyungag site will not only be the central manufacturing hub, but will also deliver R&D capabilities for new product development, material prototype production, test and analysis, and ongoing future technologies research. Henkel Huawei mold compound materials are currently incorporated into a variety of devices, from mainstream to leading-edge, including: discrete components, SOICs, QFPs, BGAs, CSPs and POPs. The company supports numerous semiconductor firms globally, a customer list that includes the world’s top packaging companies.

“This opening is the successful culmination of a very intense period of planning, capabilities streamlining and product advancement,” said Patrick Trippel, president of the electronics group of Henkel. “The result of our careful attention to detail and significant resource investment can be seen in the ongoing success of our customers. We have pledged to deliver the most advanced, process-enabling electronics materials and unyielding local customer support to our customers around the globe, and we continue to deliver on that promise. The expansion of Henkel Huawei Electronics Co. Ltd. is yet another example of this commitment.”

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OMNOVA Solutions’ Performance Chemicals facility in Green Bay, WI, received a “Return On Environment” award (ROE) from GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Co., for recent actions taken as a part of the plant’s environmental continuous improvement program. The ROE award recognizes the achievements of GE customers that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands. By utilizing GE’s advanced chemical instrumentation and controls coupled with a chemical treatment program, the facility will be able to reduce water usage by 8.2 million gallons per year, reduce incremental charges for municipal water and sewer usage, and enhance operator safety.

“GE’s advanced water treatment technologies play an important role in maximizing water efficiency for manufacturers,” said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies. “OMNOVA’s outstanding achievements demonstrate that making environmentally responsible business decisions can produce tremendous benefits for a company’s operating performance, the community and our increasingly scarce water resources.”

The new instrumentation and controls allow the Green Bay facility to monitor and feed GE’s Continuum AEC treatment program with optimal accuracy to the plant’s cooling towers, and help to limit operator exposure to chemicals. This program protects the cooling towers from scaling and corrosion and extends the length of time that water can circulate through the tower before being drawn off and replaced. An additional control was also introduced which enables the plant’s water systems to run at lower pH levels, resulting in higher cycles of concentration. This equates to reduced costs through decreased water, sewer and raw material usage.

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In December, more than four million American businesses, including 200,000 manufacturers, will receive 2007 Economic Census forms. Responses to the questionnaire are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) and are to be returned by February 12, 2008.

Every five years, the Economic Census develops a comprehensive portrait of American business, from the national to the local level. Timely and accurate data are vital to effective public policy.

The U.S. Bureau of Census has created a special Web page tell businesses about the Economic Census, and to provide statistics they can use to assess and grow their business operations.

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WACKER Chemie AG and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. are in advanced discussions regarding the sale of Air Products´ shareholdings in their two joint ventures, Air Products Polymers (APP) (including its Vinyl Acetate Ethylene activities) and Wacker Polymer Systems (WPS).

Air Products issued a formal statement on March 22, 2006, announcing its intention to sell its WPS and APP shareholdings. WACKER holds 35 percent of APP and Air Products 65 percent. As for WPS, WACKER holds 80 percent and Air Products 20 percent. WACKER expects this move will contribute substantially to further develop its polymer business to around €1 billion in sales. The planned transaction is still subject, among other matters, to concluding final, definitive agreements and approval by WACKER´s and Air Products´ respective supervisory bodies.

WPS is mainly active in dispersible polymer powders, while APP is a global leader in sales and technology for Vinyl Acetate – Ethylene (VAE) emulsions. VAE emulsions are an important precursor for dispersible powders, as well as adhesives, coatings, nonwovens, cement additives and sealants.

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