CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — October 10, 2016 — Emerald Specialties Group, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, has formed a team focused on digital applications, expanding its commercial and R&D staff for Hilton Davis® color and black dispersions to support growing demand in the key digital and ink jet segments. The company appointed Willis Reese as business director and added Jim Brock and Xiaoming Wu to the growing R&D team as dispersions R&D chemist and senior digital technologies chemist, respectively.
As business director, Reese will focus on the commercialization of Emerald’s newly patented line of Lucida Colors® self-dispersed pigment dispersions, including the development of markets and customers, and develop strategy for select technical dye and polymer technology in the digital marketplace. He is involved in several digital ink and printing technology associations, and his background in specialty materials includes a variety of business development and commercial roles with a focus on graphic arts and digital applications. Most recently, he held the position of chief digital officer with Premier Digital Ink, and he also held business leadership positions with Sakata INX, Hexion, Lubrizol and Sun Chemical. Reese earned a B.S. in printing management business administration from Murray State University, Murray, Ky.
“We have made significant investments recently in new technologies and increased capabilities at our site in Cincinnati including a pilot plant expansion in 2014. We are adding people to the organization with the industry experience to drive our business development efforts and provide additional customer support,” said James Davis, vice president, Emerald Specialties Group. “As we continue to expand our ink jet product line and capabilities, both for North America and abroad, Willis’ background in leveraging opportunities, executing strategy and cultivating new business makes him an asset to our team.”
As dispersions R&D chemist, Brock will focus on the development of color and black dispersions, especially self-dispersed pigment dispersions for printing applications. He has nearly a decade of experience in ink jet formulation and R&D, including lab management, quality control and previous work with self-dispersed pigments. He joined Emerald from Collins Ink Corporation, where he most recently served as quality control lab manager and R&D chemist. He earned a B.S. in chemistry at Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Ky.
As senior digital technologies chemist, Wu will utilize his expertise to support the company’s R&D efforts to penetrate further into the digital printing market. Wu has more than 14 years of experience working in technical roles focused on graphic arts, polymers and materials science. In his most recent role at Lexmark International, he focused on projects directed toward development of materials for advanced ink jet technology, print-head assembly and electrophotographic printing. He also previously held roles with Promerus, Radiant Photonics, Brewer Science, the University of Minnesota and Northeastern University. He earned a Ph.D. in organic/polymer chemistry at the University of Nebraska and a B.S in polymer science and engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai.
“Jim and Xiaoming both have extensive backgrounds working with ink jet, which is a very technically sophisticated application. For example, inks for printing applications must be vibrant, highly stable, stand up to fading and be easy to use across a variety of applications. Preparation of self-dispersed pigments such as the Lucida Colors® line for inkjet printing is a special challenge requiring preparation of particles smaller than the wavelength of light, with precise chemical modification of their surfaces to yield stable inks,” said Greg Duncan, technical director, R&D for Emerald Specialties Group.
Duncan continued, “Their combined experience formulating innovative materials for graphic arts, troubleshooting common formulation challenges and streamlining processes will enable us to continue offering excellent value and performance through our product lines for ink jet, while also adapting to new market needs. This brings additional strength to an already strong technical team that our customers trust for expertise in graphic arts applications.
Wu and Brock joined an R&D group consisting of Jun Wang, R&D chemist, and Everett Merling, Senior R&D chemist, who were already working to leverage the new technology outlined in Emerald’s patent application WO/2013/044045. Wang began working on the project three years ago as a co-op student while completing his B.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Merling, who joined Emerald in April, is a 2015 Ph.D. graduate in organic chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to Lucida Colors self-dispersed pigment dispersions, Emerald Specialties’ expanded R&D team and facilities will help develop and produce an increased range of high-performance color and black dispersions for printing, paints, stains and other industrial applications.
Emerald Specialties produces dyes, lakes and dispersions under the Hilton Davis brand at the group’s facility in Cincinnati, which was recently SQF certified. The group’s full range of colorants are used in a broad spectrum of applications, such as food and beverage, coatings, graphic arts, plastics, paper, textiles, personal care, home care, pharmaceutical and industrial. The group’s colorant technology dates back more than a century to Robert Hilton’s 1914 patent on the breakthrough process of color flushing.
Posted October 11, 2016
Source: Emerald Specialties