Insulation industry news from Global Insulation
US: China’s Wanhua Chemical plans to build a US$1.1bn methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant in Louisiana. The chemical producer has not revealed where it intends to build the plant, what size it will be or when it plans to start construction, according to local media. It expects to choose a site later in 2017. Wanhua Chemical will contribute about US$950m towards the project and US$170m will come from an unnamed partner.
Wanhua Chemical operates two MDI plants in China. In 2011 it spent US$1.7bn when it purchased BorsodChem, a Hungarian polyurethanes manufacturer. Louisiana state officials have reportedly been discussing the project with Wanhua since 2013.
US: A fire reported at Owens Corning’s insulation plant in Newark, Ohio on 25 March 2017 is the latest in a series of such events at the site. The fire is believed to have started in the plant’s insulation system before spreading to a few rooms and the roof of a building, according to the Newark Advocate newspaper. It is the third significant fire at the site since 2013 following incidents in November 2013 and January 2014. Owens Corning has said that it takes the safety of its employees seriously and that it has taken ‘numerous’ actions to minimise the risk of fires at the plant.
Johns Manville open cell spray foam product meets requirements for application without an ignition barrier in attics06 March 2017
US: Johns Manville’s Corbond open cell spray foam (oc SPF) has met the requirements for application without a prescriptive ignition barrier in sealed unoccupied attics for commercial and residential projects. The approval eliminates the need to apply a separate fire protective coating. The achievement is detailed in a code compliant research report, CCRR-1079, from Intertek.
“We are committed to providing the highest quality service and products to our customers, which is why we are constantly improving upon our broad range of insulation solutions,” said Bob Wamboldt, senior vice president and general manager of Insulation Systems at Johns Manville. “By optimising JM Corbond oc SPF to achieve new code compliance, we are helping our customers achieve performance goals in less time and with fewer materials.”
JM Corbond oc SPF is a two-component, low-density, non-structural insulation system designed for commercial, residential and industrial applications.
US: Installed Building Products’ (IBP) net revenue rose by 30% year-on-year to US$863m in 2016 from US$663m in 2015. Its net income rose by 45% to US$38.4m from US$26.5m. The company has attributed the growth to its presence in strong housing markets.
"IBP achieved many milestones during 2016, including record revenues and earnings, the addition of nearly US$100m in acquired revenues and the announcement of the acquisition of Alpha Insulation and Waterproofing, the largest acquisition we have made to date," said Jeff Edwards, chairman and chief executive officer of IBP.
US: William W Boeschenstein, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Owens Corning has died. He joined the company in 1950 and served as chief executive officer from 1973 to 1990, and chairman from 1981 to 1990. He was the son of Owens Corning's first chief executive officer, Harold Boeschenstein. These two men led the company for more than 50 years.
"Bill's strong values and commitment to integrity created a culture that is still thriving today at Owens Corning," said Mike Thaman, Owens Corning chairman and chief executive officer. "As a former colleague and personal friend, Bill will be missed for his contributions to the company, and for his generous support to our community."
Boeschenstein graduated from Yale University and served in the US Army Air Force during World War II, prior to joining Owens Corning. Under his leadership as chief executive officer, Boeschenstein shaped both the direction of the company and its industries. During this tenure, Owens Corning grew its annual sales from approximately US$615m to approximately US$3bn. Highlights of Boeschenstein career include resisting a hostile takeover in the 1980s and maintaining the company’s independence. He was also instrumental in Owens Corning's decision to utilise the Pink Panther in its advertising to link the colour of its insulation to the cartoon character.
Denmark: Bjørn Høi Jensen, the chairman of Rockwool, has announced that he will not be standing for re-election at the company’s annual general meeting in April 2017. He said that as he had met his goals to review the management group, start a new growth plan and introduce an ‘extensive’ improvement in results that he was standing down earlier than planned. He originally became chairman in 2014.
Rockwool’s external net sales for its insulation division dropped by 2% to Euro1.63bn in 2016 from Euro1.66bn in 2015. In local currencies the company calculated a slight rise of 0.7% for its net sales. However, its overall profit nearly doubled to Euro166m from Euro90m and its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 21% to Euro389m from Euro322m. It blamed the poor sales on the industrial and technical insulation industries and the slow development of construction in Russia in both new build and renovation. In a statement Jensen described 2016 as a year ‘marked by tough conditions.’
The insulation and building materials producer also announced that it was planning to build three new production plants including a stone wool factory in Mississippi, US. Land acquisitions for the projects are expected to be completed in 2017.
Bob Wamboldt appointed as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Insulation Systems at Johns Manville14 February 2017
US: Johns Manville has appointed Bob Wamboldt, currently the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Roofing Systems, as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Insulation Systems. He will succeed Fred Stephan, who is leaving the company.
Wamboldt joined Johns Manville in 2003 and has held leadership positions in the company’s Engineered Products business and in Roofing Systems. He began as Strategic Accounts Manager and later worked as Vice President and General Manager of Engineered Products North America and as Leader for the North American Fibers business in the Engineered Products Group. He has led the Roofing Systems business since 2011. Before joining Johns Manville, Wamboldt worked for 16 years at PPG with roles in their Fiber Glass and Coatings divisions. He holds a degree in chemistry from Lehigh University and is a certified Black Belt in the Six Sigma process improvement methodology.
US: Owens Corning has received asthma and allergy friendly certification for its Pure Safety insulation product. It says it is the first such product to earn the certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The product has less dust than comparable products and is mould and mildew resistant.
"We saw an opportunity to address the needs of over 70 million people with asthma and allergies. Caring about indoor air quality is just one way Owens Corning is committed to leveraging our building science expertise and insulation systems to create better, more sustainable and more comfortable homes," said Julian Francis, president of insulation, Owens Corning.
The Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification Program was created in 2016. It is administered by the AAFA and Allergy Standards Limited. The program independently tests and identifies consumer products that are more suitable for those living with asthma and allergies using the Synthetic Home Insulation Products Standard, which addresses a product's effect on indoor air quality and capacity to resist mould growth.
US: Sika has completed the acquisition of Rmax Operating, a US-based producer of polyiso insulation products, on 31 January 2017. The deal was originally announced in mid-December 2016. Sika has said that the purchase is intended to bolster its presence in North America, particularly in roofing, sealants and waterproofing markets.
US: Installed Building Products (IBP) has closed its acquisition of Alpha Insulation and Waterproofing. Alpha Insulation and Waterproofing, based in Atlanta in Georgia, will continue to operate under its existing brand name through an expanding network of nine branches located in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina. Alpha's focus on commercial insulation, waterproofing, fire stopping and fireproofing will add to IBP’s revenue mix and its commercial construction platform.
"We are excited about closing the Alpha acquisition and are focused on successfully integrating Alpha's operations over the coming months, which we expect will be immediately accretive to earnings," said Jeff Edwards, IBP's chairman and chief executive officer.