Surveying the Scene

Excerpt: AkzoNobel has opened its new €11m powder coatings facility in Chengdu, Western China. The new site will help the company meet growing product demand .

AkzoNobel opens powder coatings site in China

AkzoNobel has opened its new €11m powder coatings facility in Chengdu, Western China.

The new site will help the company meet growing product demand and also offering a wide range of powder products to its customers from automotive, construction, furniture and IT industries.

AkzoNobel Performance Coatings executive committee member Conrad Keijzer said: “The opening of our Chengdu production site will strengthen our position as the global leader and China’s largest powder coatings supplier.

“It will allow us to leverage the strong growth that we see in the western provinces of China, furthering our organic growth momentum.”

This would be AkzoNobel’s first facility in China that will use an innovative technology that allows full recycling of wastewater.

AkzoNobel North Asia Powder Coatings business director Eddie Wang said: “We are going through a rapid change in Western China and that is generating more demand for our business.

“The new Chengdu site is an important investment in the region and will enhance our support to local customers, particularly those in the automotive industry.”

The firm currently operates six powder coatings sites in the China region, while a seventh is the biggest powder coatings plant in the world and currently being constructed in Changzhou, due to open in October.

AkzoNobel currently has more than 30 production sites in total across China.

DURANAR SUNSTORM coating named among top products by BD&C magazine

Pearlescent-flaked coating selected by readers, editors in building envelope category.

DURANAR SUNSTORM coating by PPG was selected by readers and editors of BD&C magazine as one the top building products of 2016. The coating, which features PPG’s proprietary 70-percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) formulation inflected with pearlescent flake, was among 34 products selected in the “building envelope” category.

Brian Knapp, PPG director, coil and building products, said the honor underscores the versatility of the Duranar coatings product line. “Architects specify Duranar coatings for their proven ability to protect and beautify buildings,” he explained. “Designers know they can achieve almost any effect using these products, including a brilliant metallic sparkle with Duranar Sunstorm coating.”

Readers and editors of BD&C magazine cited the use of Duranar Sunstorm coating on Bridgepoint Active Healthcare Hospital in Toronto as a striking example of its application. Architects specified the coating in an aged-zinc tint to accentuate the “pop-out” appearance of the hospital’s expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. It is complemented by china-white DURACRON coatings by PPG, which finish the shadowbox spandrels on the building façade.

Duranar coatings are based on 70-percent PVDF resin combined with proprietary resin and pigment technologies by PPG. For 50 years, they have added color and beauty to many of the world’s most widely recognized buildings while providing exceptional resistance to chalking, fading, chipping, peeling, dirt collection and chemical staining.

To learn more about Duranar Sunstorm coating or to request color samples, call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332) or visit

Merck Foundation Grant Expands Project ECHO in Vietnam and India

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:00 am EST

The Merck Foundation (Foundation) and the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Institute at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center announced today that the Foundation has provided a grant of $7 million over five years to support the expansion of Project ECHO  to improve access to specialty care for complex, chronic conditions, such as: hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis, and non-communicable diseases, including diabetes and mental health conditions, in underserved communities in India and Vietnam.

Project ECHO is a telementoring model that links expert specialists with primary care providers through virtual clinics (teleECHO clinics), where the specialists mentor and share their knowledge through case-based learning and guided practice, enabling primary care providers to develop the ability to treat patients with complex conditions within their own communities.

Given the substantial need to improve health care and build health care providers’ capacity throughout India and Vietnam, this project has four central goals:

  • Further develop ECHO superhubs in India to provide training and technical assistance for ECHO projects throughout Asia;

  • Develop and expand ECHO hubs (specialty teams at academic medical centers or other care centers) across India and Vietnam in targeted communities;

  • Work with hubs in India and Vietnam to develop and implement training programs for community health workers to further improve the quality and availability of treatment and care; and

  • Document the impact of the ECHO model on improving access to specialty care for patients in rural and underserved areas in India and Vietnam.

  • “At Merck, we value and support our partners who are experimenting with new health care models and technologies aimed at solving complex health problems,” said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck and chief executive officer, Merck Foundation. “Project ECHO will help to make a meaningful impact on patients living with chronic conditions in India and Vietnam by empowering local providers with the specialized medical knowledge they need.”

  • “We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation from the Merck Foundation,” said Dr. Sanjeev Arora, creator and director of Project ECHO. “Strengthening the skills and capabilities of primary care providers in rural or remote settings helps to ensure patients receive the right care at the right place and the right time.”

  • As part of the initiative, a community health worker program will be developed to further expand access to appropriate care in rural communities. The community health workers will join the more than 3,000 doctors, nurses and community health workers currently enrolled in Project ECHO’s comprehensive disease management programs. To date, more than 110 partners have launched their own ECHO hubs for more than 55 diseases and conditions in more than 20 countries.

US retailer Targe*t to eliminate PFCs, phthalates, parabens*

The ingredient lists dotting the aisles of Target could soon get a makeover, one aimed not only at making the lists easier to read, but reducing the amount and types of chemicals used. 

Target on Wednesday unveiled new guidelines for manufacturers that will require them to remove certain chemicals from products and list all ingredients on products over the next five years.

With the policy change, Target aims to provide customers with more transparency when rummaging through the aisles for all types of products, including children’s clothing, table furnishings, and cleaning products.

Under the plan, by 2020, Target will ensure that beauty, baby care, personal care, and household cleaning products do not contain chemicals including phthalates, propyl-parabens, butyl-parabens, formaldehyde, or NPE’s.

The ingredient lists for affected products must also contain more detailed information than what’s currently allowed. For example, a vague term like “fragrance” would likely need more explanation.

Further down the road, Target will require manufacturers to remove perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from children’s clothing and table wear by 2022.

During that same timeframe, the company will work to ensure the makers of products like sleeping bags, rugs, and clothing do not contain flame retardant chemicals that can possibly be harmful to customers’ health.

In a bid to help manufacturers abide by its new policies, Target says it will invest up to $5 million in green chemistry innovation to find replacements for the chemicals it will no longer allow.

Target isn’t the first big box retailer to work with manufacturers to remove chemicals from products. In July 2016, Walmart began encouraging suppliers to remove eight controversial chemicals from items.

The affected chemicals were mostly found in beauty and personal-care products, and Walmart now brags that it has eliminated 95% of the total of these substances by weight used in various products sold at Walmart.

Krupali Shetty

Krupali Shetty

Punit Krishna

The process of making H-Acid generates a lot of effluent. There should be checks to see that it is being made by zero discharge manufacturing units or by units whose pollution control measures are in good shape. The increased price realisations of the product should increase compliance.




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