Industry News

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The Powder Coating Institute (PCI®) announced the 2015 Executive Committee and Board of Directors at the beginning of January. 

The Executive Committee for 2015 is John Cole, President, Parker Ionics; John Sudges, Vice President, Midwest Finishing Systems; and Ron Cudzilo, Secretary/Treasurer, George Koch Sons. The rest of the 2015 PCI Board is  Bob Allsop, Nordson Corporation; Kevin Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group Inc.; Shivie Dhillon, Sundial Powder Coatings; Craig Dietz, Powder Coatings N.A., Axalta Coating Systems; Steve Kiefer, Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc.; Chris Merritt, Gema USA Inc.; Suresh Patel, Chemetall US Inc.; and Paul West, Sun Polymers International Inc.

The following people have been appointed by the Board President, John Cole from Parker Ionics, to be the chairs to the committees listed below:

Education & Development: Mike Wittenhagen, Axalta Coating Systems
Custom Coaters: Shivie Dhillon, Sundial Powder Coatings Materials
Technology: Kevin Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group Industry
Communications: Craig Dietz, Axalta Coating Systems
Membership Committee: Chris Merritt, Gema USA, Inc.
Regulatory & Advocacy: Mark Bamford, Milgard Composites Division
Trade Show: Greg Dawson, Nordson Corp.
Market Intelligence: Chris Merritt, Gema USA, Inc.
Certification: Terry Watson, A Plus Powder Coaters Inc.

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The AP (1/23, Crutsinger) reported that the Conference Board on Friday said that its index of leading indicators rose 0.5% last month, following a revised gain of 0.4%. The index had posted solid increases in September and October after a flat reading in August. December’s increase reflected widespread strength, with eight of the 10 indicators that make up the index all higher. “The short-term outlook is getting brighter and the economy continues to build momentum,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, a Conference Board economist. “Still, a lack of growth in residential construction and average weekly hours in manufacturing remains a concern.” The only negative contributor to the index last month was a decline in building permits. Average weekly manufacturing hours held steady, meaning it neither added to nor subtracted from the overall index reading.

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The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is proposing to impose new requirements on product manufacturers and various other business entities under Proposition 65—the California law requiring warnings in the presence of certain chemicals. Under Prop 65, a manufacturer, producer, packager, importer or distributor of a product that causes consumers to be exposed to a listed chemical is required to provide a warning to consumers. Currently, a Prop 65 warning must be given prior to the time of anticipated exposure, but under the new rule, the warning must be given prior to sale, imposing new burdens on website and catalog retailers. 

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The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity slowed in January, beginning the new year on a softer note. The composite index of general business conditions dropped from 8 in December to 3 in January, its lowest level in five months. Underlying this figure, new orders (down from 14 to -8), production (down from 7 to -2), shipments (down from 8 to -5) and exports (down from zero to -7) declined for the month, and hiring (down from 8 to zero) stagnated. On the positive side, it was the 13th straight month with expanding levels of sentiment, and manufacturers remain mostly optimistic about the coming months.

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21
Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech, President Obama emphasized his goal of sustaining the newly resurgent US economy. Regarding trade and other policies that affect the nation’s manufacturing base, Obama said: “Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs” since 2010. “Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming.” Explaining that “95% of the world’s customers live outside our borders,” the president said Americans “can’t close ourselves off” from opportunities in trade and international commerce.

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Drew Industries Incorporated (NYSE: DW), a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles (RVs) and manufactured homes, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI®), has acquired the business and certain assets of EA Technologies, LLC. EA Technologies is an Elkhart, Indiana-based manufacturer of custom steel and aluminum parts and provider of electro-deposition ('e-coat') and powder coating services for RV, bus, medium-duty truck, automotive, recreational marine, specialty and utility trailer, and military applications. EA Technologies' e-coat process is ISO 9000 certified. Sales of the acquired business for 2014 were approximately $17 million.

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich.Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

The new 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel brings a one-of-a-kind off-road design to the full-size truck segment.

"Offering an off-road-style package on the Ram 1500 has been on our to-do list for some time but the right combination didn't present itself until now," said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, FCA US LLC. "The Rebel drops right into a core segment of the truck market with unique design cues and can-do attitude backed by Ram Truck engineering."

New exterior design highlights
Rebel features an all-new grille with prominent billet silver "RAM" letter badge. Departing from the brand's iconic "cross-hair" designs, the blacked-out Rebel grille tops a completely new black off-road front bumper design with a durable powder-coated surface, which incorporates a powder coated, billet silver skid plate, new front tow hooks and new LED fog lamps. Black bezel bi-functional projector headlamps with LED marker lights lie beneath an aluminum, twin-snorkel sport hood.

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The International Business Times (1/13, Gallucci) reports that “plunging” oil prices have US manufacturers “bracing for impact” that the downward price trend has already had on energy companies. Lost business from oil and gas providers, however, could present manufacturers a “mixed bag” when balanced against reduced production costs. The story cites NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray as saying it’s likely that some oil producers will postpone purchases in the next one to three months to see if oil prices rebound. “These prices have fallen very dramatically very quickly, and that has scared some folks,” Moutray said. “That’s obviously a negative in that it adds a level of uncertainty to the marketplace that wouldn’t be there otherwise.”

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Bryan Iams, vice president of corporate and government affairs for PPG Industries, argues on the “Congress Blog” inThe Hill(1/12) that “there has never been a better time” for lawmakers “to leverage the current revival in U.S. manufacturing.” He cites a NAM finding that the sector accounts for over 17 million good-paying American jobs and contributes over $2 trillion to GDP, or 12.5%. Iams credits “affordable energy” and “competitive labor costs” for current successes, but he calls for “the help of our elected officials to continue this momentum.” Congress’ focus, he says, should be on: making the US tax system “more competitive” and aimed at spurring innovation, investment, job creation, and growth; “enhancing” education through increased STEM instruction “to address the ongoing skills gap and build the 21st-century workforce that manufacturers need”; streamlining immigration procedures so that “talented” foreign workers can remain in the US “without displacing” American employees; and creating an environment in which “regulation isn’t a hindrance to growth.”

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