OCCA Annual General Meeting Comes to Toronto

By Mike Miller, Kroma Canada, Inc. | 10.05.09

2001 marks the 25th anniversary of the formation of an Oil and Colour Chemists’ Association section in Canada and North America

The year 2001 marks the 25th anniversary of the formation of an Oil and Colour Chemists’ Association section in Canada and North America. The Ontario Branch of the London section was formed in 1974 and then achieved full section status in 1976.

As part of the planning for this celebration, the Ontario section committed itself two and a half years ago to play host to the 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association. This event would mark the first time that this meeting had been held outside of the U.K. At this function, the section would also be privileged to witness the transfer of the presidency of the association as an added bonus.

Although Friday, June 8 was the date of the AGM, there were many events on and around this date. The Canadian Division Council held their semi-annual meeting on June 7. The senior officers of the association, including the president and president-elect, who had travelled from the U.K., plus the general and assistant secretaries of the association, were in attendance. Matters of local interest and relevance were discussed, including the status of the Quebec franchise of the printing ink technology course. The division is grateful for the interest shown by the association and its officers at this event.

Meetings with the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology also took place during the course of the week. Robert Ziegler, executive director and Rodney Moon, the education officer for the federation, discussed several matters of mutual interest and benefit to both the association and the federation. These get-togethers take place on a regular basis several times each year and are scheduled around events such as the AGMs of both the association and the federation.

The largest freestanding structure in the world, the CN Tower and the 360 Restaurant on top of the tower, played host to a unique social function on the Thursday night prior to the AGM. Out of country visitors from the U.K. and elsewhere, along with the senior officers and staff of the association, were joined by senior officers, special guests and dignitaries of the Ontario section and Quebec branch. A most enjoyable meal coupled with nearly perfect viewing conditions and great company helped the president, Kevin O’Hara, experience a truly unique last day, including a spectacular sunset, on the last full day of his two-year term.

The main event on Friday was surrounded by several events at the Stage West All-Suites Hotel and Dinner Theatre in Mississauga, Ontario. Overseas and invited guests were treated to breakfast, courtesy of Foscolor Ltd. A printing ink trade exhibition by manufacturers and suppliers to the Canadian surface coatings industries took place in the room adjacent to the room where the AGM was to take place. In the afternoon, a mini-printing ink symposium took place as a continuing education event for the Canadian printing ink industry.

There was a lot of planning and coordination that went into the organization of these events. An integral part of this planning was the fund raising that took place to financially support the activities that took place during the week. Funds were raised in three ways, through donations and sponsorship of various events, through funds generated through the selling of space for tabletop displays at the trade exhibition and through admission to the symposium.

The section is grateful to the exhibitors to the printing ink trade exhibition for their participation at this event. The exhibition began at 9:30 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 8.

Exhibitors included Shamrock Technologies, Inc., Tego Chemie Service, CSI Fabricated Metal Bins Inc., Carroll Scientific, Inc., Sun Chemical Corporation – Pigments and Dispersions Division, Testprint B.V., Horizon Chemicals Ltd., Lawter International, Inc., Tri-Tex Company, Inc., Novocontrol GmbH, Ashland Chemical – Drew Industrial Division, A.S. Paterson Company, Ltd., Cognis Canada Corporation, R.B. Atlas Inc. Ciba Specialty Chemicals Canada Inc., the Oil and Colour Chemists Organization of Ontario and RadTech.

AGM Called to Order

The Annual General Meeting of the Oil and Colour Chemist’s Association began at 10:30 a.m. After the president of the association and chair for the AGM called the meeting to order, Mike Miller, chair of the Canadian division, introduced guests and VIPs present at the meeting. All present then stood in a silent tribute to the memory of the eight members of the association who had passed away in 2000.

Professor John Davison was proposed and duly elected as president of the association for 2001-3. Professor Davison requested that Mr. O’Hara remain in the chair for the duration of the meeting. The election of association vice presidents and honorary officers were finalized and the results of the elected members to council were also made known to those in attendance. The chairs of the sections of OCCA were read and the directors of Surfex Limited were proposed. The membership subscription rates for 2002 were approved, Kemp Taylor & Partners were re-appointed as the association’s registered auditor.

It was announced at the AGM that Stan Ray of the Midlands section had been awarded honorary membership by the awards committee. It was also announced that J. Calderbank of the Manchester section, Gordon Campbell-Hall of the KwaZulu-Natal section, J. Gant of the Thames Valley section and H.J. Schöne of the Cape section were presented commendation awards by the association for this year. Dr. L. Lin was awarded the Stern Award for 2000 for his paper titled “Adhesion and Cohesion Phenomena in Pigment Dispersion.”

A vote of thanks to Kevin O’Hara was made at the meeting and Ranjan Roy of the Quebec branch made a brief presentation and update on the status of the printing ink technology course in Quebec for the fall of 2001.

The focus of the meeting then shifted to the inauguration of the new president, Professor John William Davison. The past president, Kevin O’Hara, spoke about the changes to the association during his term of office and highlighted several of the events that had taken place during that time. The medal of office was transferred to Professor Davison, as was a unique box that was given to the association by the Surface Coatings Association of New Zealand.

The wood for this box came from a recently discovered ancient forest that was uncovered in New Zealand. Thirty thousand years ago, an entire forest was entombed and preserved in a geological upheaval.

As customary, Judith Davison gave Ros Hopkins a custom crafted medallion of the association, which symbolizes the contributions she made while her spouse was president of the association. Professor Davison gave Mr. O’Hara a set of crafted cufflinks as a remembrance and keepsake for his time in office. Professor Davison said a few words after he was sworn in and praised the efforts and accomplishments of the now past president. Pictures and well wishes were followed by a sit-down meal sponsored by Inortech Chemie Inc.

Afternoon Symposium

Ahalf-day symposium took place during the afternoon. The speakers for this event, which was sponsored by Testprint B.V.,were very distinguished. Ed Faulkner, director – business development of Sun Chemical Corporation – Colors Group and an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, presented a paper titled “Coloured Organic Pigments – A Global Perspective.”

In his presentation, Mr. Faulkner said that printing ink represents the single greatest application for the use of colored organic pigments, namely 67 percent, greater than that of coatings, cosmetics and plastics combined. He presented an overview of the world pigment market, both by region, by color and by end use.

Mr. Faulkner compared how the world market share for pigments in weight produced and by dollars generated varied depending on which perspective was taken. Although Sun Chemical produces the highest volume of pigment each year, Ciba Specialty Chemicals has more dollar sales in pigments due to their higher market share in high performance pigments.

Mr. Faulkner showed a comparison of the global pigment capacity utilization, both past and present, and made predictions about the future and in what countries pigments will be produced in. Application trends, past, present and future, were also discussed, as were pigment industry characteristics and technology trends within the industry.

He also spent a fair bit of time discussing the emergence of newer printing technologies and what impact they might have on the pigment industry, as well as the impact of environmental and regulator concerns in the various countries where pigment is produced.

Dr. Mark Vincent, manager of research and development for Dominion Colour Corporation in Toronto, was the second speaker for the day. He presented a paper titled “The Effect of Aggregate Particle Size Distribution During Pigment Synthesis on End-Use.”

The type and amount of surfactants applied to a pigment surface as well as the drying temperatures used in processing can affect the final pigment particle size after dispersing in a printing ink medium. Dr. Vincent said that it has been long understood that pigment particle (aggregate) size has a dramatic effect on the dispersibility and final dispersion within a printing ink. A smaller, or finer, particle size would lead to good dispersibility, whereas a courser particle size would lead to poorer dispersibility and strength development.

The particle size development of a pigment undergoes many stages in the manufacturing process. Such stages include initial preparation, primary crystal development and deaggregation (heat treatment), surface treatment, filtration drying and, finally, grinding. During all of these stages, the particle size and shape is manipulated/altered to give the optimal properties that the printing ink manufacturer desires.

Dr. Vincent’s laboratory’s work focused on the stages prior to grinding and the effect that these stages have on pigment dispersibility. The types of surfactants used (cationic, anionic, non-ionic and amphoteric) and their mechanisms used were investigated and reported. This research is ongoing within the DCC pigment laboratories.

After the break, which was sponsored by Sun Chemical (Tartan Colors and Chemicals Inc.sponsored the morning break),Professor James Guthrie of the University of Leeds spoke next about “The Psychology and Perception of Colour.” This light-hearted paper explored the physiology of color vision as well as the psychology and perception of the world of color. He explored the reasons for how the appearance of surface color is influenced by the color, shape and size of neighboring areas and on the viewing environment of the observer.
Professor Guthrie explained the method for predicting such effects by “appearance modeling” and offered some suggestions for the way in which the use of such models could be a benefit to industry, especially in the area of print and marketing. A consideration of how these various factors can influence choice, selection and appearance in the animal and human world was discussed.

Professor Guthrie was a last-minute substitution for an overseas speaker whose family experienced a sudden and serious illness, preventing travel to Canada. The efforts of Professor Guthrie are appreciated and acknowledged here.

The end of the symposium belonged to the president of OCCA, Professor John Davison. Professor Davison presented his paper titled “Printing as an Engineering Tool.” Professor Davison discussed printing in its traditional context, namely as a means of conveying, communicating and disseminating knowledge. He also covered the industrial applications, such as packaging and advertising media, and reviewed the mechanical processes for most of the known contact and non-contact methods of printing.

Professor Davison’s doctoral thesis at the University of Leeds revolved around the fabrication of a commercial product, namely, a biosensor for detecting sugar levels in the blood of diabetics using printing techniques. Professor Davison demonstrated that the commercial applications of “print” go far beyond the traditional market of publication printing. He stressed the role and place that modern ink chemists and formulators have in serving these new and evolving market areas.

Enjoying the Sights

The symposium concluded for the day, however, there was one more event scheduled for the week: a bus trip to Niagara Falls on Saturday. Seeing that many of the U.K. visitors had never been to Canada, it was only appropriate to arrange a scenic tour of the Niagara district.

A chartered tour bus left the Stage West Hotel at 8 a.m. A general scenic tour ended up at the famed Hildebrand Winery and Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. A scenic tour of the vineyard and the winemaking facilities concluded with an instructional lesson on wine tasting.

Lunch under the marquee followed and the tour was back on its way to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls. Here, hundreds of butterflies flutter around in an enclosed tropical ecosystem, free of natural predators. As such, the butterflies have no fear and routinely land on visitors and tolerate hordes of camera enthusiasts searching for the perfect picture.

The next stop on the tour was the Falls themselves, where a trip to the Caverns beneath the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls awaited. An elevator ride hundreds of meters below the surface transported the guests to the base of the Falls themselves, and to caverns where the power of millions of gallons of water going over the Falls every second could be observed.

After some sightseeing near the edge of the Falls, the tour was on its way to the Whirlpool and a look at the Spanish Aerocar which traverses the gorge.

After a nearly perfect day, the bus made its way back home. The chair of the Ontario section, Neil Thorpe, thanked everyone who attended the tour and bid a special goodbye to our OCCA friends and guests from the U.K. The organizer of the event took a deep sigh and will look back on the event with fond memories.