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Polartech Switches on China Plant

Polartech Group has completed a $20 million, 25,000-sq.-meter metalworking additive manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, with initial capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year (expandable to 30,000 tons). The plant will manufacture finished metalworking fluids, metalworking fluid packages and additives – including corrosion inhibitors, emulsifiers and lubricity/extreme pressure additives, all designed specifically for use in metalworking fluid formulations, said Polartech spokesman Peter Richards. We will also be able to offer toll manufacturing for customers wishing to gain a local manufacture base within the expanding Chinese marketplace. At the June 19 opening, which included a traditional lion dance, music, tours and a banquet, CEO Hugh Dowding observed that the plant allows us to be a powerful partner to local lubricant manufacturers who supply or wish to supply into the metalworking fluid marketplace.

Houghton Bags D.A. Stuart

Houghton International Inc. has acquired D.A. Stuart Co., uniting two key metalworking fluid manufacturers. This acquisition will bring together two complementary organizations that can benefit from shared efficiencies and the integration of best practices, said Houghton Chief Executive Paul DeVivo. Houghton develops and produces specialty lubricants, chemicals and oils for the metalworking, automotive and steel industries, among others. D.A. Stuarts focus is lubricants for the metalworking and primary metals industries, including coolants, cutting and grinding oils, metal forming lubricants, friction modifiers, rolling oils and hydraulic fluids. Terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

Shanghai R&D Center for Afton

Afton Chemical will open a new research and development facility near Shanghai by year end, to better serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region. The 1,000-sq.-meter facility will include nine laboratories for analytical development and testing. Its site in the Zizhu Science Industrial Park puts it close to the resources of nearby Jiao Tong University and East China Normal University. China has a lot of high-powered research going on, and we can tap into it, said Marshall Nelson, vice president for R&D at Aftons Richmond, Va., headquarters.

Growmark Expands in Iowa

Agricultural cooperative and lubricant supplier Growmark has acquired two facilities from Waterloo Service Co. near Waterloo, Iowa, including one for bulk lubricant storage and distribution. The Logan, Iowa, facility includes a storage facility for bulk lubricants, a refined fuels bulk plant and propane operations. Growmark will continue to expand its distribution of quality lubricant products throughout Iowa and the Midwest, said the companys Shelly Kruse. Growmarks roots are in agriculture, and Iowa is a key agricultural state. In 2006, Growmark revamped its business by acquiring McCollister and Co., a family-owned lube blender in Council Bluffs, Iowa, along with its Archer and United lubricant brands.

Puradyn on the Front Line

Puradyn Filter Technologies, of Boynton Beach, Fla., has been awarded a contract to supply 70 oil filtration systems for U.S. Army vehicles operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. The systems will be used on the Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV), an armored fighting vehicle used in bomb disposal operations. Puradyn President Kevin Kroger said the systems will help reduce oil usage and consumption, as well as help our soldiers by keeping the vehicles in continuous service. The systems have been field tested in combat situations since 2005.

Viscoplex Flows in Singapore

RohMax Oil Additives, maker of Viscoplex lubricant additives, has manufacturing facility on Jurong Island in Singapore. The plant – the first in Asia for the Evonik subsidiary, which also has a technical center in Shanghai – will produce viscosity index improvers and pour point depressants for markets in the Middle East, Africa and especially Asia Pacific, where automotive lubricant demand is booming. The Jurong plant is expected to employ 30 to 40 people.

Trico Adds Predict

Trico Corp. has boosted its lubrication management services by acquiring Predict USA, a provider of used lubricant analysis, wear particle and vibration analysis, ultrasonic testing and thermography. Under the deal, Predict will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Trico, which will take over Predicts laboratories in Cleveland, Pewaukee, Wis., and Toronto. Also, Predict USA employees will become Predict Inc. employees. The purchase gives Trico access to ASTM fluid tests and ferrographic analysis, among Predicts strengths. Terms were not made public.

Dow Swallows Rohm and Haas

Midland, Mich.- based Dow Chemical will acquire Rohm and Haas Co. for $18.8 billion, in a deal to be finalized in early 2009. Under the agreement, Rohm and Haas will retain its Philadelphia headquarters, and continue to do business under its current name. Dow plans to establish an advanced materials business unit at Rohm and Haas headquarters and to contribute complementary Dow specialty chemicals businesses to it, including biocides, coatings and personal care. Total revenue of the new unit will approach $13 billion a year, Dow said.

Lubrizols Niagara Plant to Dry Up

Lubrizol will close its Niagara Falls, Canada, additives blending, packaging and warehouse facility next June, because of low toll-processing volumes and a too-high cost structure. In a statement, the chemical additive giant said, The operation of the facility is not sustainable for the long term, under current and anticipated market conditions. It will seek a buyer for the site and work closely with affected customers to ensure minimal disruption to their businesses. Operating since 1953, the Niagara Falls site employs 30 people, who will be offered new positions within Lubrizol, severance packages or outplacement services. The closing is expected to result in a restructuring charge of $10.9 million.

Learn about Fluid Power

Two new videos, Discovering Fluid Power and Fluid Power: A Force for Change, give viewers a peek inside the fluid power industry. Produced by Minnesotas Twin Cities Public Television in cooperation with the National Fluid Power Association and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, each 30-minute documentary is aimed at those interested in learning about hydraulic and pneumatic research. Discovering Fluid Power gives an overview of fluid power technology; Fluid Power emphasizes current research and career opportunities for young people. View Discovering Fluid Power at http://www.ccefp.org/ccefpvideo.html and Fluid Power at http://www. nfpa.com/education/edu_nfpa-fp-tv program.asp.

Faces in the News

Gian Fagan has joined Chevron Global Lubricants as manager of grease technology in Richmond, Calif. A past president of NLGI International, he previously was with Bel-Ray Co.

Beth Fields is now with SK E&P Co. in Houston, continuing her marketing responsibilities as Yubase sales manager. Previously, she was with Lithcon, the former marketer for the base oils. SK also named Mike Brown as Yubase technical manager. He has worked in the oil industry for more than 25 years, most notably with BP-Castrol and Exxon.

David Pipe recently stepped down as president of ATIEL (the Technical Association of the European Lubricants Industry), after nine-plus years in the position. In that time, Pipe guided the association through a period of changing environmental regulations and engine specifications in the European lubricants industry. A process to name his successor is under way, the group said.

Dover Chemical, Dover, Ohio, has appointed Jack Teat to be executive vice president of global sales and marketing and Chuck Fletcher vice president of commercial development. Teat has been with company for two years, and will now manage the sales and marketing of all products. Fletcher joined Dover in 2002 and will over-see long-range strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and major customer activities.

Boris Zhmud has been named to head E-IONs newly launched Center for Innovation and Commercial Development in Ghent, Belgium. Zhmud, who joined the lubricity additive supplier in 2007 as R&D manager, will expand the companys friction modification research and development program.

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