In recent days the industry lost an iconic figure in the passing of David Marsh, who died unexpectedly at his home in Bridgewater, Michigan.
Dave’s contribution to the advancement of the surface finishing industry was far reaching, both technologically and from an advocacy standpoint educating the regulatory community as to the importance of surface finishing in preserving the nation’s natural resources. Not only was David one of the first job shop owners to embrace automation as a way to increase productivity and profitability, he was equally insightful in being one of the first finishers to offer his customers emerging technologies that would provide better corrosion protection than were possible with older technologies. This helped Marsh develop a reputation for being able to apply consistent, high quality finishes that other shops had difficulty matching.
David’s many skills were quickly recognized by his peers in the surface finishing industry, resulting in him ascending to leadership positions in the industry’s various trade associations. He was one of the individuals most responsible for coordinating the government relations efforts of all three trade associations at the time into a single group known as the Government Advisory Committee.
It was this committee that was involved in ground-breaking collaborative programs with the EPA, most notably the Common Sense Initiative, which was created as part of President Clinton’s Reinventing Government initiative. David was also a well respected and vocal supporter of the need for trade association consolidation, which led to the creation of the National Association for Surface Finishing.
Several years ago David turned over the day to day management of the various finishing operations owned by the Marsh family to sons Matthew and Mitchell, but he maintained an advisory role as the family opened new plating facilities in the Southeastern United States and in the Midwest. This change in roles for David afforded him more time to pursue his many hobbies, such as bird hunting, fishing, traveling in his motor coach, playing golf, training his hunting dogs, and ensuring his beloved “farm” in Bridgewater was maintained to his specifications.
A visitation will be held for friends and industry colleagues on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm at the Polo Fields Country Club, 5200 Polo Fields Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Dick Crain, whose countless contributions and leadership to the finishing industry will be missed. Dick died peacefully on Mar. 26, 2017, at Hinsdale Hospital in Illinois at the age of 83.
“He was a champion of the industry, and he always put the good of the order first. He was one of the last who was a true gentleman,” said friend and colleague Blair Vandivier of Asterion this week. Many others who worked with Dick over the years would certainly agree.
Dick was born on Feb. 12, 1934, in Freeport, Ill., to Francis and Belva Wedding Crain. He graduated from Western Illinois University in 1956 with a degree in chemistry. While at Western, he became a proud member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and was the chapter’s president during his senior year. Upon graduation, Dick married Susie Walton Sears in August of 1956. He taught high school science in Shannon, Ill., for two years before moving to Berwyn, Ill., and accepting a sales position at Industrial Filter and Pump Co. in Cicero, Ill. He spent 30 successful years at Industrial, becoming vice president of sales. After leaving Industrial, Dick also applied his considerable skills and expertise with positions as general manager of Serfilco in Northbrook, Ill., and executive director of the Metal Finishing Supplier’s Association.
Dick was the author and inventor of three patents in the pollution abatement field. He also owned and operated his own consulting company, Monitor Consultants LLC. In retirement, he served as an environmental consultant for Indian Head Park, Ill., where he and Susie resided.
Dick enjoyed traveling throughout the world for work and with Susie. He also loved playing golf and gin rummy with friends at the La Grange Country Club, where he was a long-time member and the club’s president from 1985-1986. Most of all, he loved his family dearly.
Reserve your hotel room today for this year’s Washington Forum! NASF is hosting the nation’s top policy experts, and the agenda will focus on timely, strategic topics for industry decision makers. Join us this year to get insight on what’s ahead in 2017, connect with industry leaders and communicate the vital role of surface finishing in the nation’s Capital. Sessions and events will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City and on Capitol Hill.
Visit NASF.org for a full schedule of speakers and events.
This year’s Conference highlights include:
- Jim VandeHei – Top political media analyst and entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Axios, co-founder of Politico
- Corey Lewandowski – Former Trump campaign manager and founder, Avenue Strategies
- Ann Wilson – Senior vice president, Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association
- Peter Morici – Economist and professor of business at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
- Andrew (Andy) Friedman – Founder of The Washington Upate, CNBC commentator and political affairs expert
- Tom Sullivan – Vice president, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- David Fischer – Senior director, American Chemistry Council
- U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) – Senate Environment, Commerce and Small Business committees
Don’t miss this opportunity to discuss some of the most important issues facing the finishing industry this year. Visit NASF.org for more information and to register. Contact Cheryl Clark at cclark@NASF.org or (302) 436-5616.
The latest NASF “Business Barometer” survey points to optimism from member suppliers and job shops in the first quarter of 2017. Click here to see detailed results for suppliers and here for job shop results, including outlook by geographic region.
For Job Shops, business conditions are favorable and expected to tick up further in the next six months. In light of broader confidence in key sectors and the expectation of pro-business policies from Washington, including less regulation, confidence in the industry tracks trends other business surveys, including the NFIB “Optimism Index” – where first quarter optimism reached a historic high.
Job Shop owners said the biggest challenge this year will be finding qualified employees as the labor market continues to tighten. The Job Shop survey just kicked off this quarter, following the success of the NASF Supplier Business Barometer. See the summary here.
For Suppliers, business conditions in North America are the most favorable since the survey launched in 2015, with nearly 49 percent of suppliers reporting conditions are “good” and nearly 9 percent reporting “excellent.” See the summary here.
Thanks again to all members participating in the survey. Be sure to take one minute and complete the next survey in the second quarter. Your contributions help create a more accurate picture of current and emerging business conditions for the industry.
The NASF SUR/FIN® Manufacturing & Technology Trade Show & Conference has expanded and is shaping up to be the event you can’t afford to miss. Because the 2017 event has so much to offer, the conference program will now begin at 8:30 AM on Monday, June 19. This is a departure from recent years when the conference program kicked off in the afternoon. The new schedule allows attendees to take advantage of the full range of conference sessions without sacrificing time on the show floor.
The conference program can be viewed at NASFsurfin.com. In addition to the key session offerings such as Advances in Surface Finishing and Automotive and Technical Responses to REACh, there will also be sessions on Aerospace & Defense, Technology for Increasing Performance, and more. Attendees and exhibitors will have a total of 14 sessions from which to choose, plus complimentary sessions such as the Sustainability Summit, Nadcap and keynote presentations from Executive Director of the Automotive Industry Action Group J. Scot Sharland and Scott Fetter with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at Lockheed Martin.
More than 180 companies will showcase the latest equipment, supplies and services in more than 100 product categories. SUR/FIN exhibitors will provide their expertise in surface technology to make your company more efficient and profitable. Looking for a particular product or service from our exhibitors? You’ll find it here.
Registration is now open at www.nasfsurfin.com.
The NASF through its Government Advisory Committee is nearing completion of a milestone review and case study of the industry’s progress in reducing wastewater discharges throughout a nearly 30-year period. The study compares metals discharged by permitted finishing operations in Milwaukee from 1989 to 2016. It evaluates total metals reductions from companies to the municipal treatment plant, average reductions on a per facility basis, and the relative contribution of the finishing industry versus the larger universe of industrial dischargers in the community.
The draft version is under review by the committee this month and, as anticipated, preliminary findings show the industry’s reductions to be significant. The results of the study will be presented at the NASF Washington Forum in a discussion led by GAC Committee Member John Lindstedt, Advanced Plating Technology. Committee representatives will also present the study’s findings to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the April meetings. The findings will substantiate the association’s position that protecting the nation’s waterways has been an overwhelming success, and that future, more stringent discharge standards are unnecessary.
Further details will be available shortly after the committee’s review and the report is finalized.
Prompted by concerns over elevated air monitoring levels of hexavalent chromium in a southern California neighborhood, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is expected to propose revisions to its Rule 1469 – Hexavalent Chromium Emissions from Chrome Plating and Chromic Acid Anodizing Operations and Rule 1426 – Emissions from Metal Finishing Operations.
Local air officials have indicated that hexavalent chromium levels of more than 0.2 nanograms per cubic meter would pose unacceptable risks to human health. AQMD has already required one metal finishing shop to cease operations for exceeding 1 nanogram of hexavalent chromium per cubic meter at air monitors at the property boundary.
Focus is on Fugitive Emissions
The AQMD staff stated that they are concerned primarily about fugitive emissions from plating operations, rather than emissions from stacks, scrubbers and other control devices. To address the fugitive emissions from plating shops, AQMD may add the requirements below to the current rules for chromic anodizing and chrome plating operations.
- Monitoring on the premises using multiple monitors ($5000 each) with immediate abatement when levels exceed acceptable risk thresholds
- Total enclosures for plating and anodizing operations
- Buildings with negative air pressure
- Controls and/or covers on all tanks that are heated or agitated and may contain hexavalent chromium, including sealer and rinse tanks
- More stringent controls on abrasive blast cabinets and grinding operations
- New housekeeping requirements, including:
- Daily vacuuming of floors with a HEPA vacuum that is emptied in a clean room environment
- Daily cleaning of flat surfaces and wall
- Cleaning of roofs two times per month
Expansion to Other Metals
AQMD is also considering applying similar requirements for metal finishing operations pursuant to Rule 1426 to control fugitive emissions of other metals such as cadmium, lead, nickel, zinc and tin.
AQMD has indicated that it expects to issue the proposed rule by July 2017 and finalize it by the end of 2017. The industry is concerned that it may not be technologically or economically feasible to meet the proposed revisions. California state industry leaders and NASF representatives have met with AQMD officials this month. The industry is now in the process of evaluating options to address this significant and precedent-setting challenge to finishing operations in the region and beyond.
To view a summary of the pending regulatory actions from South Coast air regulatory officials, please click here.
The Bright Design Challenge in Detroit this week featured automotive design students showing their first research concepts for this year’s project at the College for Creative Studies. Key to their early learning was a face to face meeting with NASF leaders and experts on the role of surface treatment and finishing applications.
Instructor Raphael Zammet facilitated the student presentations. The class has done some initial research on the history of automobile brands and how to use finishing to enhance brand identity.
The industry briefings and input on the students’ work were given by a group of NASF leaders who lead the Bright Design Task Group, including:
Brian Harrick, KC Jones Plating
Bernie Haviland, Haviland USA
Mitch Marsh, Finishing Services
They were joined by a special panel of industry supplier experts from NASF member companies who provided an overview of the wide range of finishing uses and applications for automotive.
Doug Lay, Coventya,
Rob Pawson, HavilandUSA
Joe Randazzo, Atotech
Mark Wojtaszek, MacDermidEnthone
Focus on Finishing in Design
NASF Board member Brian Harrick, who helped lead the session with key sponsors, was pleased with the outcome so far. “We were excited to have our group give an overview of surface finishing — this session really helped the students focus on designs. I think we had a lot of good information exchange and it was great to hear the questions from the students and CCS staff.”
This semester’s course – sponsored by NASF and it’s training arm, the AESF Foundation, is a studio-focused session of top students in the College for Creative Studies’ Master of Fine Arts program. Past graduates from the school who have been involved in NASF-sponsored Bright Design courses have gone on to successful careers working for global automotive and other companies.
The objectives of the course this year are to:
1. Create new conventions of identity on both the brand and vehicular level through the unconventional research and application of materiality, color, texture, pattern, and form as expressed through surface finishes.
2. Employ the concept of researched “aesthetic messaging” to elevate the use of surface finishes beyond styling decor, into ‘communicative language devices’.
3. Celebrate the full creative and expressive potential of surface finishes through the creation of visually compelling video animations that highlight the surface concepts (by targeting viewers focus to those areas on vehicle).
More details of the session will be available shortly and an update on the progress of the course will be given at the NASF Leadership Conference next month.
Thanks to all NASF and event sponsors!
Lockheed Martin’s Scott Fetter will join NASF at SUR/FIN® in Atlanta as a keynote presenter on Tuesday, June 20. Scott has more than 30 years of materials processes, environmental safety and occupational health (ESOH) work experience. He began his career with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Hazardous Waste Materials Management. Scott is currently a F-35 ESOH Lead with Lockheed Martin and has served as the F-35 Air System ESH Integration Lead since the late 1990s. He is responsible for coating-related systems such as pollution prevention, materials substitution, identification execution and regulatory compliance, including REACH.
The Trump Administration and Republican leaders in Congress have launched 2017 with several early actions on an agenda that, if implemented, would represent a tectonic shift in the U.S. regulatory landscape, particularly in the areas of environment, labor, health and safety.
Nominees and Advisors
The president’s nominees to head key agencies – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency and burger chain executive Andy Puzder for Department of Labor – are widely known critics of the federal bureaucracy and government overreach. Pruitt led states’ efforts in recent years in major lawsuits against EPA. Puzder, who battled regulation in California, has warned that overly strict labor laws will lead employers to replacing workers with machines. Both nominees are now awaiting Senate confirmation.
The president also recently named activist investor and billionaire Carl Icahn as his special advisor on regulatory overhaul. He promised a regulatory moratorium and a rollback of key Obama Administration executive orders and memos on a host of topics. That’s exactly what’s transpired since Trump took office.
The President’s EPA transition team chief, libertarian think-tank advocate Myron Ebell, recently called the environment movement “the greatest threat to freedom.” He suggested last week that EPA’s budget should be cut by two-thirds, from 15,000 to 5,000 employees.
Executive Orders and a Regulatory Freeze
The President just this week signed an executive order promising that going forward for each new regulation issued, two old regulations would have to be eliminated. In announcing the policy, he noted “we’re cutting regulations massively for small business – and for large business” and that the annual impact on the economy of government rules would be “no greater than zero.”
The order follows an Inauguration Day memo from the President’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to all departments and agencies. The directive would freeze a number of recently finalized regulations for a 60-day review period. It also instructed agency heads to also consider delaying effective dates for regulations beyond the 60-day time period. The temporary moratorium on regulations is not uncommon for incoming presidents.
Indeed, several major rules that the Obama administration was speeding to the finishing line will be held up. Among them is the Department of Labor’s controversial overtime rule to boost worker pay, along with several EPA regulations. Another on the slate is a rule to make hardrock mining operations show the financial ability to pay for contamination clean-up if closed. This is the first in a series of rules that EPA has anticipated would affect a range of industries in the future, including surface finishing.
Regulatory Reform Legislation on Capitol Hill
On Capitol Hill, Republicans with control of both legislative chambers on Capitol Hill have moved swiftly in the first few weeks of the new Congress to reshape the future of regulation. In its first week back in Washington, the House began action on and approved several regulatory relief bills, including:
- the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) – requires Congress to approve any agency rule estimated to have more than a $100 million cost on the U.S. economy;
- the Regulatory Accountability Act – requires agencies to complete a number of steps on a proposed rule, including weighing the direct and indirect costs and benefits of their rules on jobs and economic growth; and
- the Midnight Rule Relief Act – allows Congress to repeal in a single vote any rule finalized in the last 60 legislative days of the Obama administration.
Since passage in the House, the Senate is now reviewing these measures, but Democrats have promised opposition there. The bills were passed by the House in earlier Congresses but were never previously acted on by the Senate.
In addition, House leaders have assembled a first short list of major Obama-era rules for repeal in the coming days. Republican leaders have promised to use their legal authority to scuttle the regulations under a rarely used legislative tool, the Congressional Review Act. The law, enacted in 1996, has been successfully invoked by Congress only once. In 2001, Republicans used it as President George W. Bush took office to overturn a major OSHA workplace ergonomics standard from the Clinton Administration.
EPA – Selected Regulatory Targets
Several major environmental regulations that the Trump administration has targeted for elimination, reform or delay include EPA’s Clean Power Plan to set carbon emission limits on power plants, the agency’s revised ozone standard and EPA’s controversial Clean Water Rule, which would determine which rivers, lakes, streams and ponds are subject to federal jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court just this month agreed to hear arguments in litigation over the water rule. For surface finishing, EPA is still reviewing whether to propose tighter wastewater discharge limits for the industry, and NASF will continue to work closely with EPA and the Trump administration to inform the agency’s decision.
Department of Labor and OSHA – Selected Regulatory Targets
One of the most controversial labor regulations advanced by the Obama Administration has been the overtime rule. The rule, which would have raised the salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay, was blocked by a Texas district court judge just before it went into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. Both the incoming White House and Republicans in Congress have argued the rule should be scrapped, along with a growing list of other Obama-era labor rules and decisions from DOL, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
On workplace safety matters, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s efforts to make major changes in recordkeeping and reporting for business have been opposed by a range of industry groups, including NASF. Among these have been OSHA’s final electronic reporting rule to put injury and illness records of employers on the internet, and the agency’s pending final rule that would allow OSHA to cite employers for alleged injury and illness recordkeeping violations up to five years old, an extension much longer than the current limit of six months.
It’s only January, and a profound shift is underway in Washington. The regulatory agenda will be in a center spotlight this year, along with further action on tax reform, trade, immigration, health care and infrastructure. NASF has been closely engaged at the agencies and will continue to monitor and inform decisions that impact the industry as the year unfolds. Look for new updates on specific issues in play in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, we look forward to having you join us for the NASF Washington Forum in the nation’s capital on Apr. 25-27, 2017. For more information, go to www.nasf.org.
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