The NASF supplier community is expanding opportunities for engagement this year. The industry took its first step in January. More than 30 representatives from chemical and equipment companies met in Chicago to launch a new NASF committee focused on supplier concerns for the surface finishing industry.
The full-day agenda and discussion covered market, technology and regulatory topics for large and small supplier companies. NASF President Tony Revier (Uyemura) kicked off the meeting, noting that the association spent 2011 aggressively rebuilding, retooling its membership structure and charting a strategic course for the future.
“The supplier community faces some unique issues, and we’re excited to expand the association’s programs this year to address them,” Revier says.
Industry Statistics, New Trends and Expanded Promotion
The session covered priorities for various supplier segments, and kicked off with a discussion on the latest NASF market statistics led by supplier survey manager Dave Lucas, Blair Vandivier (Asterion), Erik Weyls (Coventya) and Terry Copeland (Enthone). Attendees agreed the new analysis was extremely valuable and should be continued.
Invited representatives from DuPont—Dr. Kai Schubert and Dr. Allison Yake—along with U.S. EPA officials and NASF Government and Industry Affairs, discussed the outlook for fume suppressants and pending restrictions on perfluorinated chemicals. Also spotlighted was NASF’s expanded industry promotions focus for the finishing industry, most recently through the association’s Surface Technology Initiative.
This year NASF is deepening its involvement in student design competitions through the Bright Design Challenge with the Detroit-based College for Creative Studies and the West Coast Bright Design Challenge with the Pasadena-based Art Center College of Design.
A Changing Regulatory Landscape
The session also covered new topics for suppliers from the alphabet soup of federal agencies, including NASF Government and Industry Affairs’ update on new measures affecting suppliers from the SEC, DEA, DOT, EPA and OSHA.
Lynn Bergeson, a nationally recognized expert on chemicals policies, forecast the North American impacts to industry MSDS requirements from OSHA’s soon-to-be finalized Globally Harmonized System (GHS), new European REACH restrictions on chromium and cobalt announced in December 2011, and new U.S. EPA chemical data reporting requirements starting in February 2012.
Attendees agreed that launching a new supplier committee would be highly beneficial, and elected Enthone’s Brian DeWald to chair the committee in 2012. Stay tuned for information on future meetings and programs.