OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard is now aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This update to the Hazard Communication Standard provides a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. The first deadline in the implementation phase is Dec. 1, 2013, the date by which employers must train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet.

OSHA has prepared a number of additional materials that explain the new changes to the requirements of the HCS, including QuickCards, a training fact sheet (PDF*), a list of frequently asked questions and a brief (PDF*) on labels and pictograms. These and other materials are available on OSHA’s Hazard Communications page.

Ford: 66 Percent Of All New Vehicles Will Come Equipped With Four-Cylinders By 2020

The Detroit News (5/21) reports Ford Motor Co. “anticipates that by 2020, 66 percent of all new vehicles will come equipped with four-cylinders.” The News reports, “The shift to the smaller engines is a result of strict federal fuel-efficiency standards — known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE — and means a growing share of cars, SUVs and trucks will join the four-cylinder fray by 2020.” The article also notes, “General Motors Co. is reluctant to release long-term powertrain forecasts, but said four-cylinder penetration will ‘remain very significant.’”

NADCA Meets with LME to Work Towards a Resolution with NASAAC

The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA), including several of its members, and representatives of the London Metal Exchange (LME) met via a teleconference call yesterday, May 22, to discuss the issues that the North American die casting industry is having with the North American Secondary Aluminum Alloy Contract (NASAAC) that is overseen by the LME.

Daniel Twarog, President of NADCA, requested the meeting in late April and the LME expeditiously responded by organizing the meeting. Twarog opened the conversation with information on the issues the die casting industry is having with NASAAC. Twarog said, “The NASAAC was created to be a fair index between the buyers and sellers of secondary aluminum. From 2003 to mid-2011, the spread between Platt’s and NASAAC was consistent and predictable. From mid-2011, the spread has grown to over 25 cents/pound causing die casters to incur heavy financial losses on contracts with several automotive companies.”

Twarog reports that The LME responded by saying, “The LME’s primary role is to discover a reference point between buyer and seller. They commented that the recycled business is unique in aluminum because most other metals do not have secondary markets. Finally, they see that financial institutions are new to the game and are creating competition and a significant delivery backlog. The LME said they have responded by doubling the amount of metal in the warehouses and increasing the shipments out by 500 tons/day.”

One NADCA member asked if the premiums for the metal could be published. Twarog reports, “LME said the premium levels were not published because the levels were negotiated between buyer and seller. LME reminded everyone that the NASAAC price is the price in the warehouse and not the delivered/negotiated price that is paid for useful aluminum for production purposes.”

The LME suggested that perhaps broadening what the contract is catching will help the situation. A NADCA member suggested that 319 would be the next logical alloy because of its pervasive use. However, he cautioned that the specific composition be considered because automotive companies have different specification levels of certain elements in the 319 alloy. He also suggested 356 would be the next alloy to consider. The LME took note of this information.

LME also offered the die casting industry a potential position on the LME Aluminum Committee. NADCA asked that the invitation be provided in writing and consideration would be given.

NADCA asked if the LME could immediately return to a previous policy of not re-warranting material that has shipped from an LME warehouse. This would prevent financial institutions and others from moving metal from one warehouse to the other. NADCA also suggested that the LME include a provision that the metal is sold and shipped out of the warehouse within a specific time period. This would prevent quality issues with the material. Several NADCA members expressed a serious concern with the quality of the material currently being delivered. It was suggested that SOW’s be shrink wrapped to help minimize the quality issues.

NADCA reiterated that changes need to be made as soon as possible because the difference in NASAAC and what quality material can be purchased at is a serious and costly issue for die casters. The LME representatives were extremely open to the points made by NADCA and its members. Twarog reports the LME “would not be able to offer specific remedies from this conference call, but would work with the appropriate committees of LME to find solutions.” The next LME Aluminum Committee meeting is on June 11, 2013 and a follow-up conference call with NADCA will be scheduled.

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