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The new ISO 9001 and the 8-step approach

The final version of the revised standard for quality management systems is scheduled for release by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in autumn 2015.
Many organisations have already started to address the expected changes, which are aimed at strengthening the benefits of quality management. To optimise their own processes they need to determine their status quo and identify approaches for introducing improvement.
The revised ISO 9001 offers more flexibility regarding process documentation, as well as a higher level of transparency, as parts of the management system. For very simple processes, for example, clear verbal instructions in conjunction with training material may be sufficient. Generally, however, traceable documentation in forms such as a checklist or an electronic workflow will be required to provide guidance for various work steps.
To safeguard a high level of process quality, the new ISO 9001 includes an ambitious 8-step definition of the expected degree of process maturity. "At steps 1 and 2, organisations define the inputs required and the outputs expected from their processes and the sequence and interactions of these processes in a form such as a process map," says Ulrich Wegner, Head of the Certification Body of TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH. "At step 3, the organisation also review the responsibilities and authorities for these processes, using tools like responsibility matrices." Once this is completed, at step 4, organisations are expected to identify the technological and human resources needed.
At step 5 of process maturity, the focus is on risk-based thinking. To this end, organisations verify that they have identified all risks relevant for the key processes. While the old ISO 9001 focused predominantly on the avoidance of risks through appropriate preventive actions, the revised version also considers chances. Effective process operation and control are ensured at step 6. This requires organisations to have either clear instructions for simple tasks in the service sector or process-integrated solutions (e.g. an ERP system). At step 7, the processes are evaluated with the help of appropriate monitoring and measurement methods. These are required in cases in which technical or personnel risks or instabilities were identified. At step 8, the data gained from process evaluation, enable management to make a robust decision regarding the necessary improvement actions.

Sika acquires Axson

Sika has agreed to acquire Axson Technologies. The intended transaction was initially announced in January 2015. With annual sales of CHF 75 million and 365 employees, Axson Technologies is a leader in the field of epoxy and polyurethane polymer formulations for design, prototyping and tooling, structural adhesives, composite materials and encapsulation products for the automotive, aeronautical, nautical, renewable energy, sports & leisure and construction markets.
With six production sites in the USA, Mexico, France, Slovakia, China and Japan and a broad distribution network, Axson successfully produces and markets its innovative products worldwide.
By acquiring Axson Technologies, Sika is increasing its product offering and expertise in the Tooling and Composites business. The main technologies used are polyurethane and epoxy - also two of Sika's core technologies - which will further complement and advance the future product offerings.
(Coatings World)

LANXESS improves earnings in fiscal 2014

In fiscal 2014, specialty chemicals group LANXESS substantially improved its operating result and net income in a challenging market and competitive environment. While sales declined slightly by 3.5% to around EUR 8 billion, EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by 9.9% to EUR 808 million. Net income improved by EUR 206 million to EUR 47 million – despite exceptional charges related to the company's realignment program.
In August 2014, LANXESS presented a three-phase realignment program. The first phase, focused on improving the competitiveness of the company's business and administrative structure, including a reduction of around 1,000 positions worldwide, has largely been completed. The reduction of around 500 positions in Germany mainly affected administrative functions and was achieved without dismissals for operational reasons. A further 500 positions are being reduced outside Germany. From the end of 2015, LANXESS will achieve savings of around EUR 120 million due to the first-phase measures, rising to EUR 150 million annually from the end of 2016.
The company intends to stop EPDM rubber production at its Marl, Germany, site at the end of 2015. During the course of 2016, LANXESS will be focusing Nd-PBR production at its sites in Dormagen, Germany, and Singapore. The third phase of the program is aimed at improving the competitiveness of the business portfolio, particularly through cooperations in the rubber business. LANXESS is currently in talks with potential partners and will possibly report on these in the second half of 2015.
"Particularly against the background of the persistently challenging business situation, the substantial improvement in earnings is gratifying. The figures also reflect the first benefits from our realignment program, which we are implementing on schedule", said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG.

Sikkens Wood Finishes changes name

A brand with more than 200 years of heritage and quality, SIKKENS® wood finishes, is changing its name. A premium exterior wood finishes brand for decks, logs and siding, doors, windows and interior finishes, the Sikkens brand is becoming the "Sikkens ProLuxe" brand.
Beginning in early March, the newly labeled product will be available at approximately 700 major home centers and more than 1,200 independent dealer locations across the United States and Canada.
The ProLuxe brand is a line of PPG Industries' architectural coatings business. The Sikkens ProLuxe premium woodcare brand offers products for deck, log and siding, door and window, and interior finishes.
(Coatings World)

Borealis begins new project in Brazil

Austrian chemical company Borealis has secured $ 11.4 million from the Brazilian development bank BNDES to finance the company's expansion in Brasil.
The recently expanded and upgraded Borealis facilities in Itatiba will bring new technologies to the Brazilian compounding industry and represent a great achievement for Borealis Brasil.
According to the company, the expansion concerns the compounding facilities in Itatiba with a total investment of around $ 30.6 million. The project includes construction of two new extruder lines, a new production building, new warehousing facilities and extension of the existing utilities.
(Chemicals Technology)

Oxea receives European Product Leadership Award

Based on its recent analysis of the European plasticizers market, Growth Partnership Firm Frost & Sullivan has recognized chemical company Oxea with the "2014 European Non-Phthalate Plasticizers Product Leadership Award".
Oxea produces two comprehensive product ranges of phthalate-free and bio-based plasticizers that meet customer demands for regulatory compliance and safety. They meet and exceed performance requirements of conventional phthalate plasticizers, which they replace. "As a pioneer in the industry, Oxea early on invested into the development of phthalate-free plasticizers. Focused research and our ability to quickly bring new products to market made it possible to flexibly address the requirements of the markets", commented Jacco de Haas, Global Marketing Manager for Specialty Esters at Oxea.

DSM sells polymers & resins business

Royal DSM NV agreed to sell a majority stake in a basic plastics and resins business to CVC Capital Partners Ltd. to accelerate a refocus on nutritional ingredients.
DSM and CVC will form a new company from operations making composite-resins, caprolactam and acrylonitrile that will be 65% owned by the private-equity company, according to a statement today. The accord values the assets at as much as EUR 775 million. The structure of the deal, which includes a 15-year supply agreement, means DSM retains access to vital raw materials for its higher-performance plastics business.
CVC provided a speedier exit route for DSM after years of initially seeking a buyer for caprolactam assets alone. The transaction has an enterprise value of EUR 600 million plus an earn-out of as much as EUR 175 million. The operations generated EUR 106 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2014.

Evonik to acquire Monarch Catalyst

Evonik Industries intends to strengthen its global catalysts business. On March 11, 2015, Evonik has signed an agreement with Monarch Catalyst Pvt. Ltd., Dombivli (India) to acquire 100% of shares. The transaction is expected to close during the first half year of 2015 after the required approvals have been received. The parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
This bolt-on acquisition in India with annual sales in the low double-digit million euro range complements Evonik's leading positions in activated base metal catalysts and precious metal catalysts. Monarch's global oils & fats hydrogenation catalysts business is a broadening of the Evonik catalysts portfolio. Monarch Catalyst has about 300 employees.

Conference : LogiChem 2015

LogiChem, Europe's only dedicated Chemical Supply Chain & Logistics event, returns to Antwerp in 2015: As ever, it will be focused on providing chemical supply chain professionals a platform to benchmark against their peers as they look to achieve commercial and supply chain excellence.
The conference provides an interactive platform for the evaluation of supply chain strategies that will secure Europe's place as the centre of chemical excellence, as global demand fluctuates in a volatile macro environment.
The industry's thought leaders will reveal their own investment and transformation priorities during the three-day Conference (APR 21-23) at Antwerp, Belgium.
(Worldwide Business Research)

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The Resins & Coatings News Review by ANDRIANOS Chemicals is a weekly newsletter offered freely to all subscribers, since 2006. News covered include new products, new technology, M&A, J/V, price changes (affecting European market), market analysis and historical facts of the European and global resins & coatings chemical industry. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter.
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News are listed from various sources, as quoted above, aggregated by agents ANDRIANOS Chemicals, Athens, Greece.