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Ascend News


Welcome to Ascend News. Our newsletter is an important tool in connecting with each other across the company to learn how we are working in the five key focus areas – safety, customer, productivity, reliability, and people – to achieve our business objectives and build a successful company. The progress made by A2E teams everywhere in the organization are critical to our success as a company. Ascend News will highlight your engagement in A2E by bringing you success stories. In this issue, you’ll read about the simplicity of the Decatur Glove project, and the complexity of Decatur River Pump project. It is exciting to see A2E success stories that all have something important in common -- your engagement in recognizing opportunities and creating solutions. When we visit the sites, one of the key questions you have is, “What does the future look like?” The Business Overview from John Ferguson, Dick Prinstein, and Scott Rook provides insight into each of our three businesses, Chemicals, Polymers & Fibers, and Plastics. You’ll learn about our business outlook from each of these business leaders. The ISC Scorecard will provide you with metrics related to our key focus areas. In particular, you will see results of our on-time delivery against our customer promise, and quality defects -- two of the most important measurements of our reliability. We hope you enjoy the first edition of Ascend News and consider it your source for news of your colleagues, our business, and our success. We invite your thoughts and ideas for future editions of Ascend News. In the meantime, we have more progress to make. Be safe. Do great things. Have fun. Tim

Message from the Vice President of ISC

Table of Contents

Core Values Defined – Engagement During our Year 2 anniversary


celebrations, Fred and Tim spoke

Message from the VP of ISC


about the great progress we’ve made over the first two years

I believe in Zero!

of Ascend, and about how much


more we have to accomplish

SDI SSP Capacity Increase


as we continue to grow our

Employee Engagement Key Component

business. There are opportunities

of Pensacola Safety Effort

to be better all across the organization and in particular,


in the areas of safety, reliability, Storm Impact on Decatur

quality, and capacity. We will

Ascend Cares

make progress by leveraging those opportunities, and as


we do, the most powerful thing we can do as individuals and Site Focus: What is it about Decatur?

teams is engage. The power of 3000 employees and resident

Decatur Takes the Gloves off, Saves $22,000

contractors engaged in generating ideas, developing project

Celebrating 50 years

plans, and execution, will result in accomplishments far beyond what we imagine today. • In keeping with our pursuit

Decatur pictures

of excellence, and the obvious tie to our company name, we use Ascend to Excellence (A2E) as our brand for employee


engagement in creating a successful company. I want to take

Business Overview

this opportunity to talk a bit more about A2E – what it is,

Have you attended the A2E 2011 learning course yet?

its importance to the success of Ascend, and how A2E is becoming a part of our organization DNA.

IT Transition

What is A2E?



Pensacola FRC Commitee Works to Beat the Heat

A2E is 3000 employees and resident contractors engaged in the work, owning the results, and driving continuous improvement in every aspect of our business. • Engagement


and ownership of results is a key behavior we embrace and

Congratulations Decatur Reduces River Water Pump Costs

expect of our teammates and ourselves. Engagement and ownership is the foundation of our expected organizational behaviors.

Year 2 Celebration pictures APEX 2011

A couple of things it is NOT: - A program of the month. It is an enduring view that defines our value system, our personnel evaluation processes, and

Safety ESSH People

our promotion and hiring decisions. - Only a set of Continuous Improvement (CI) tools. As a learning Customer

organization, we will continue to teach CI tools such as DMAIC, brainstorming, design of experiments, etc., to increase the effectiveness of our individual engagement in the growth and success of the organization. In effect, learning and using the tools are a means to an end, not the end itself.



A2E Engagement is a two-way street. To be successful, each of us has to commit to A2E as the way we work each day. The power of 3000 engaged in A2E will make

far more progress than just a few individuals. We don’t have to look

OUR daily work than each one of us.

further than the recent NBA finals to see the truth in this. The Dallas

We've made great progress in our short time as Ascend. With

Mavericks won the title through the cooperative efforts of the entire

the full engagement of 3,000 team members, we'll make even grester

roster --when it mattered most, each player engaged in their role

progress. Get engaged and make a difference where you work.

to the best of their ability, while the Miami Heat attempted to

Barry Penney

carry the title through the extraordinary efforts of three superstars. If we are actively engaged in improving our work environment,

A2E means... "...everybody that wants to make a contribution

it will be a place that represents our values, a place we can be proud of, and one that energizes us. • Ascend is supporting your

can make a contribution..."

A2E engagement to ensure success. That support started early by

John Robinson · South Plant Team Leader · Greenwood

providing learning opportunities around DMAIC tools to help teams get started. Last year, Ascend supported the A2E momentum with

"...getting a group of people together who have different levels of

the inaugural APEX event to recognize individuals and teams that

expertise and exceeding beyond anything you could have imagined..."

demonstrated leadership, engagement, and ownership of A2E. •

Lynn Crear · Adipic Business Leader · Pensacola

Now, A2E 2011 courses which provide more tools to support active

"...getting everybody involved – trying to save money, making

and future teams are being taught across the company. Much of

the plant operate better, and making it a better place..."

the direction for these courses came from the APEX 2010 Delegates.

Kevin Radle · Manufacturing Engineer · Chocolate Bayou

APEX 2011 is just around the corner, and this year’s delegates will provide input and direction for A2E 2012 courses. • Ascend is

"...the projects we’re doing were typically reserved for engineers –

supporting A2E in other ways – each site has an A2E “core team”

now everybody in the plant gets to work on them..."

that will act as a resource. The core teams and the Front Line

Terry Wright · Operator – Utility/ESSH Coordinator · Decatur

Supervisors are engaged in learning focused on leading great teams. The Quality & Continuous Improvement (QCI) team is

"...having a voice to make a difference – makes you

staffed and is providing technical support to our teams. After all,

feel like \you’re part of a good organization..."

the folks working in a specific area are the best subject matter

Eddie Morgan · Processor II – Vydyne · Pensacola

experts. No one is more qualified to make improvements in

"...brings everybody together to

our daily work than each one of us. • Looking across Ascend

share ideas and thoughts..."

you can see more and more engagement. Teams, work-groups,

O.J. Jackson · Production Operator · Foley

and sites are making a difference by tackling tougher issues, finishing faster, and in some cases setting site/company policy through their efforts. I’m personally looking forward to APEX 2011 to see first hand some of the top efforts of the past year. After all, the folks working in a specific area are the best subject matter experts for that area. No one is more qualified to make improvements in

ESSH I Believe in ZERO!

by Dale Borths

Do you believe in ZERO? Do you believe you will be injured in the second half of the year? Of course not! Then you believe in ZERO! No one expects to be injured at home or work, but the real question is, “What are you doing to make that a reality for yourself?” • As we begin the 3rd quarter, there is no better time to answer that question of personal accountability. With the onset of summer, comes the heat, increased work activity at home, overhauls and turnarounds at work, the distractions of vacations, kids at home, and longer days. With no change in behavior, the probability of your risk of injury increases.




So what will you do to be ZERO? • Safety is our most important focus area at Ascend – we want everyone to return to their families safely at the end of the workday. We continue to improve safety processes so they are practical and easy to follow, and to provide safety professionals to address the tough questions and issues in the workplace. We will continue to look for opportunities to make Ascend a safer place to work. • Enjoy the summer and focus on being safe at work, at home, and at play. We will provide as safe a work environment as possible and the rest is up to you. Believe in ZERO! Dale Borths is the Vice President of Environmental, Safety, Security, and Health.


SDI SSP Capacity Increase

by Raymond Fogle

The Greenwood site recently expanded their Industrial Fiber (IF) production on their Toray-licensed Solid Stating


Process (SSP). Originally supplied at a 30 tonnes per day capacity, the process now has been demonstrated at Lamson Blowers

>50 tonnes per day using innovative technology and engineering modifications with minimal capital investment.

Temp/ Moisture Control Loop

To achieve the capacity, a Project Team, with members Crystallizer 150ºC

from Greenwood and Pensacola, developed an EVOP


plan. Although initial results were favorable, high temperature upset (exotherm) events began plaguing

N2 degC

operations, limiting production below target. Toray of process modifications. • The Project Team developed parallel paths utilizing experimentation and industry consultants to develop the fundamental process

heating loop

Wet Chip Silo

SSP Tower 158–166ºC (rate dependent)


water ppm unused

understanding necessary to prevent the exotherm events. With diligence, discoveries were made allowing process optimization to prevent the upsets. To date, no new exotherm events have been experienced and


Previously Dew Point (degC)

cooling loop


0 % H20


0.4 wt % H 2 0

the plant has achieved >50 tonnes per day capacity. The use of good planning, outside resources, technology 0 % H20

development, and team work has achieved a 67%

Dry Chip Hoppers

capacity increase with minimal cost. Great job by

Cooling Water Jacketed Pipe

could not provide technical assistance for these types

Desiccant Dryers

Moisture Regulating Silo MRS


0.1 wt % H 2 0

Buffer Hopper

the Greenwood site and the SSP team! Raymond Fogle is a Lead Process Engineer in Pensacola.

ESSH Employee Engagement Key Component of Pensacola Safety Effort There are three key employee safety teams in place at the Pensacola site:

by Chuck Clarke

Site Safety Steering Committee (SSSC) / Nylon Plant Safety Team / Area I Safety Steering Team. All three of these teams, composed almost entirely of hourly employees are focused on improving safety at the site. The SSSC which includes members from each area of the site targets activities that foster employee involvement such as hazard recognition and resolution, focused safety audits, Voluntary Protection Program certification, and poster contests. Members are also working on updating area safety orientation training videos. • The Nylon Plant Safety Team includes maintenance and operations employees who are committed to improving their area’s safety. Their activities include those that address area employee concerns such as working safely in the heat, guarding equipment, and work practices aimed at reducing risks associated with breaks in processes. • The Area I Safety Steering Team’s mission is to empower each other to create a safer and more productive working environment. This team has spent time ensuring that

Cool Zone

its members are aligned in its mission and goals. One key accomplishment was to set up a Cool Zone to provide some heat relief to workers involved in shutdown activities at the Halcon Unit. This Zone included a tent with chairs, tables, fans, and drinks. Feedback from the maintenance group was very positive. While each team has different membership and a unique approach, they all have one common goal – to create an injury free workplace. Working together, there is no doubt they will accomplish this goal at the Pensacola site. Chuck Clarke is the ESSH Lead in Pensacola. 2

Storm Impact on Decatur

by Al Faulkner & Monica Jackson

On April 27, 2011, one of the largest tornado outbreaks in American history occurred across the southeastern United States. An EF5 tornado swept through several counties in Alabama, terrorizing families and destroying everything in its path. About 50 minutes and 55 miles later, it was gone, however, the aftermath remains. EF5 passed within 2 miles of the plant

• Although the tornado passed within two miles of the plant, the Ascend Performance Materials Decatur site had minimal damage. While the plant was left completely without power, only minor damage to the exterior of the cooling towers and several roof leaks were reported. Ascend was very fortunate. More important, good fortune continued as we confirmed there were no employee injuries or fatalities. However, thoughts quickly turned to the Ascend employees and contractors impacted by their own loss of property, or an injured or deceased relative. Immediately after the storm, the site leadership team was not only on the ground working through their restart strategy,

was the site’s biggest issue in preparation for restart. This significantly

but also reaching out to impacted employees. With rain in

complicates the restart effort and of course, no restart can begin

the immediate forecast, teams set out to provide tarps to

without resumption of power. Emergency power was restored

employees who sustained roof damage during the storm.

one week after the storm. Restart power returned two weeks after

• The storm provided the right opportunity to establish the

the storm and was under close oversight from TVA. • At this time,

Ascend Cares Foundation as a way of allowing employees

the plant is completing a project pulled forward to maximize

to help each other. Funds were solicited and through the

production for the remainder of 2011. After the project work is

generous donations of Ascend employees, resident contractors,

completed in early July, the plant will return to full operational rates.

and suppliers, several families impacted by the storm have

The Decatur site appreciates the thoughts, prayers, and the outpouring

received relief funds. The impact of improving a difficult

of support to the site and to our employees through Ascend Cares.

situation has been tremendous. • Lack of electrical power

EMPLOYEE IMPACT Injuries or fatalities: 0 employees Loss of property, injured, or deceased relative: 23 employees (Ascend and Contractor) Significant damage or complete loss of their home: 10 employees PLANT DAMAGE • Minimal damage to exterior of cooling towers • Roof Leaks in several buildings • Very fortunate…significant damage to two plants three miles west of Ascend facility Al Faulkner is the Decatur plant manager. Monica Jackson is ISC communications liason. The Ascend Cares Foundation was set up to aid the employees and resident contractors which comprise the Ascend Family, to care for each other in times of hardship. Our initial solicitation for donations was in support of the members of the Ascend Family affected by the tornadoes that struck the Decatur area in late April. Your generous donations have helped a number of Ascend Families in Decatur meet their immediate needs following devastating losses. • While there are many local, state, and national agencies that provide disaster relief, the intent of the Ascend Cares Foundation is to provide immediate and personal relief to the Ascend Family, from fellow workers. • We would like to remind our colleagues in Decatur that we are still accepting applications for relief. We would also like to remind everyone that we continue to accept donations to Ascend Cares. • If you have questions regarding the Ascend Cares Foundation, please email 3

Site Focus: What is it about Decatur? Employee commitment to company & community Editor’s Note This is the first in a series of articles profiling our plants. Look for upcoming issues of Ascend News. Yours could be next! Since mid-2009, business volume at Ascend’s plant in Decatur, Alabama, has been thriving. How come? • Sound management – encouraging employees to overcome barriers and providing the tools to do so – has certainly been a factor. Effective leadership provides the big picture, and the picture’s focus is the character of the employees who work in Decatur. • Decatur’s 235 employees, 110 contractors and the entire Decatur community for that matter is a close-knit bunch. They develop strong bonds of friendship, camaraderie, and have a resolute belief that they will always triumph over adversity. Plant Manager Al Faulkner is proud of the Decatur employees' commitment to work through the difficult times. Downsizing, business losses, and layoffs marked the last decade. “They are now able to experience the improvement that their years of hard work led to,” Faulkner said. “They just don’t give up,” he added. • “Their commitment to safety improvements in productivity and quality is as solid as a piece of granite,” said Faulkner. “When these folks set out to accomplish something, that something gets accomplished, period.” • Faulkner said employees have strong bonds with friends, with their families and in their ties to the Decatur community. “They’re very active within the community and several are members of our city councils. Many are actively involved with area charitable organizations including United Way, and several are volunteer firemen and volunteer emergency medical technicians,”

Decatur Plant Facts • The Decatur Plant employs 235 and has 110 contractors. • The plant serves internal customers at Greenwood and Pensacola. • Decatur produces H.M.D. (hexamethyldiamine) for external customers. • The plant manufactures three products: A.D.N. (adiponitrile, a key intermediate chemical in the production of Nylon 6,6), H.M.D. and coke, a form of carbon. • The facility is located on a 750-acre site along a peninsula bordered by the Tennessee River. • The property was purchased in 1952. • Chemstrand, headquartered at the site in 1952, would become Monsanto, then Solutia and now Ascend Performance Materials. • The Decatur Plant is one of four production-scale A.D.N. facilities in the world. (Two are in Texas, and one is in France.) he said. • Perhaps it helps to grow up in the City of Decatur, today the busiest port of the Tennessee River and known as “The River City.” More than 55,000 people call this north Alabama city home, making Decatur the state’s eighth largest city. • Decatur, too, had to earn its present-day success. It endured several encounters during the Civil War. When all but four building were burned during the 1864 “Battle of Decatur,” it was referred to as A Tough Nut to Crack. Later, Decatur’s steady economic growth as a cargo and passenger port was overshadowed by the space race fueled growth of nearby Huntsville. Today, Decatur’s economy is based on manufacturing industries. • Ascend Performance Materials and its committed Decatur employees play an important role in the life and economy of the community.

Decatur Takes The Gloves Off, Saves $22,000 Increasing efficiency by cutting unnecessary expenses go hand-in-hand with always seeking out ways to make things better, which is the essence of Ascend To Excellence. • Such opportunities are all around us, some right in hand. We just have to look. When a team of Ascend employees at the Decatur, Ala., facility looked, they uncovered annual savings of almost $22,000. • Did the team discover a high-tech solution that cut costs? No, they simply looked at their work with fresh eyes and, in a moment of creative insight, realized that by reviewing the types of gloves used for certain jobs and implementing a glove management system, they could improve selection criteria and use, increase hand safety and save a lot of money. • The Decatur glove team comprised Lisa Naccarato, ES&H Department; Maintenance lead Jamie Dozier; Darrell Eddleman, Laboratory; Davis Canady, of off-site contractor Mundy, Inc.; Ray Halbrooks, Area Operations; Joe Forton, Continuous Improvement Lead and Storeroom personnel Loyal Parker and Matt Kenum. • The team began by assessing current glove usage and inventories. In reports on glove use at Decatur and other Ascend sites. This enabled them to focus on the most predominately used gloves. By standardizing the types of gloves used for various applications and soliciting prices from several glove manufacturers, the team found gloves that were just as effective at less cost.


Celebrating 50 Years Betty Qualls began job in 1961 Reprinted in part from Decatur Daily, April 27, 2011 Betty Qualls has worked for Ascend and its predecessors for 50 years. “I always felt this was where I belonged,” said Qualls, who started working at the Decatur plant in 1961. “I enjoyed my work. You’ve got to enjoy your work to stay with it for 50 years.” • The goal of logistics – or “traffic,” as it was called when Qualls entered the department 35 years ago – is a steady routine of shipments to and from the plant. The reality of logistics is maneuvering from one crisis to the next, making sure the Decatur plant has the raw materials it needs and that downstream plants have the Decatur intermediates they need. • Qualls’ supervisor, Kim Roberts, is a 13-year employee. “She’s seen many different business situations and many different management styles,” Roberts said. “She’s very good at managing crisis situations when we’re trying to secure our raw materials or get our finished goods shipped out.” • Qualls often gets calls after hours and over the weekend, Roberts said. “She always responds with a positive attitude, regardless of the hour,” Roberts said. • “As a result of her long tenure, she has a lot of great relationships with our carriers, whether truck, rail or barge companies,” said Plant Manager Al Faulkner. “As a result, they are very responsive to us. Betty has worked very hard with them for a lot of years.” • She points out

her window, past a dogwood tree planted in her honor, to a plot of ground between Ascend and a neighboring plant. That, she explains with macabre humor, is supposed to be her burial plot. She scolded a contractor for infringing on the space when he expanded the parking lot. • Qualls has no immediate plans for retirement. “The people here are so much family to me that I don’t want to leave them,” Qualls said. “They all work together. It’s a great place.”


Business Overview Plastics – Scott Rook

(Acrylic Fiber and ABS), and high raw materials costs. A contributing

Key Successes: New contracts were successfully negotiated and

cause of the low demand was Chinese monetary policy as the Chinese

signed with customers in key markets for the Plastics business,

attempt to curb inflation. Maintenance work originally scheduled

including fasteners, compounder, and consumer & industrial.

for Q3 was accelerated to leverage the lower demand.

New Products: Launched a new compounder product for use as

Business Outlook: We expect continued strong demand for

a component in thermal break products. On pace to significantly

Adipic Acid and HMD in Q3, while the Acrylonitrile market will

increase sales for a next generation fastener product with Phase II

continue to be challenging. Exceptional reliability will be critical

product currently in development.

in order to leverage market opportunities.

External Events: The Plastics business lost production due to

ISC Scorecard | Q2

the Decatur power outage. Inventory reduction and ramped up production in Q4 will make up the lost production.

Meeting Customers Needs

Business Outlook: Overall sales volume picking up pace with increased demand in all market segments in all regions. Discussions


are underway with multiple customers to increase supply positions





for 2012. Global automotive production is forecasted to grow >14% in 2012, boosting increased demand for Nylon 6,6.

Polymers & Fibers – Dick Prinstein The Polymers and Fibers business finished Q2 somewhat short. Demand remains strong in all Polymer and Fiber segments, but our ability to supply has been constrained by the production issues

Percentage of SIOP




Customer Promise OTD




N/A *

15,916 **

46,129 ***

Quality defects

in HMD. We honored all volume commitments to our contractual customers in spite of the severe constraints. The demand outlook


remains strong and we expect it to continue to outstrip our ability to supply. • For the Textile segment we began servicing a new

Major Achievements

customer, Aquafil, located in Slovenia, who makes yarns for clothing

2Q11 was marked by the extended Decatur outage from the tornado that caused power outage in early May. Across the circuit the production units did a very nice job of accelerating and/or moving forward planned maintenance to minimize the lost production impact for the full year. On the heels of the process restart in Decatur, the site executed the addition of the 18th reactor. Greenwood completed the startup of the Industrial Fiber Phase 2 Project in effect capping off several steps that has doubled our capability to produce this high-grade fiber.

applications. We completed a new contract with TWD (one of our largest customers who also make clothing applications) at increased volume. • For Industrial we completed negotiations on a contract with Hyosung to service their expanded plant located in Vietnam. The Phase 2 Industrial Fibers startup has gone well and as a result, we have begun servicing 2 new customers while increasing our volumes with Kordsa. Thanks to the Greenwood team for their efforts. • In Specialty Polymers we completed contracts with Textech, (who make tennis ball felt) and Palmetto (who make specialty military and industrial clothing applications), and have recently announced plant

Major Opportunities

expansion plans.

During the third quarter we have several recently completed capacity additions to start and shake out. GWD IF Phase 2 for tire and airbag fiber, Pensacola CP 22/23 pellet conversion to increase our chip-out capability, and Decatur ADN reactor addition. All of these are important projects but with our current inventory position following the Decatur power outage, it is critical that the ADN unit operates well in order to provide feedstock for the downstream process.

Chemicals – John Ferguson Key Successes: A long-term contract to supply HCN, utilities and services was finalized with Cyanco. Cyanco will build a 55,000 ton per year sodium cyanide plant at Chocolate Bayou to start up in 2012. Cyanco is the leading supplier of sodium cyanide to mining industry in North America and expects to grow its business internationally. New contracts were successfully negotiated with multiple customers.

*This was not previously measured/not available Ascend wide **Q1 PPM Baseline is a Partial Metric (all areas not reporting at this time) ***Q2 Better Reporting, Ascend wide and Global Coverage & Controls Going in Place.

External Events: The power interruption in Decatur resulted in a volume shortfall vs. AOP for HMD. Acrylonitrile demand weakened during Q2 due to lower demand for the two major AN derivatives 6

Ascend Surpasses United Way Goal Ascend employees pulled together in a collective spirit of compassion for the less fortunate and generously gave to the Company’s annual United Way fundraising campaign last fall. • Employee participation exceeded 82 percent, almost 10 percent above the year prior. Donations totaled $624,000, including employee pledges and the Company’s match. • In addition, Ascend employees held a number of separate fundraisers, such as a cake auction, golf tourney, chili cookoffs, and taco lunches that brought in nearly $36,000. Prize drawings for Wii video game consoles, wide-screen TVs and parking spaces sparked awareness and enthusiasm for the United Way campaign. • “Today’s economy is stretching everyone’s resources, but imagine for a moment the plight of those who are less fortunate,” said Paul Hawes, vice president of Human Resources. “In many cases, United Way is the only option available to assist them in their time of need.”

Have you attended the A2E 2011 learning course yet?

by Matilda Reeder

A2E 2011 roll out began in May and will continue through July. This learning course offers a little something for everyone! • Did you wonder what happened to that A2E survey you completed last summer ? Well, we put the survey to work. First, we used it to identify and plan the activities for APEX 2010. As important, we used it to develop A2E 2011 learning courses! Your survey responses make a difference in how we develop your A2E learning opportunities. • One of the most exciting elements of the A2E 2011 course is learning how to empower yourself on your next A2E project. When you and your team assume the power and authority to identify and solve problems, your engagement in and contribution to Ascend's success will increase significantly. A2E learning is about building the skills for success. We look forward to seeing you! • And don't forget, APEX 2011 is coming!! Start thinking about who you would like to nominate. Matilda Reeder is the ISC Training Manager.

IT Transition

by Allison Roberman

It’s hard to believe that nearly four months

to customers, along with increased revenue opportunity through

have passed since we went live on our

programs such as duty drawback -- all coming in 2011. • In parallel

own SAP system! Our SAP support team

with adding new functionality in SAP, we’re streamlining/cleansing

is committed to making sure that all

our system by removing what is not applicable to Ascend. This will

production issues reported via the ticketing

make our SAP system more efficient and easier to use. But there is

system are resolved in a timely manner, all

life beyond SAP! Here are some other activities in underway… •

requests for moderate system changes are

The IT Enterprise Applications team is gathering requirements

prioritized through a Change Control Board,

from business leaders to ensure our portfolio of systems is the right

and all major system enhancements are

tool set for Ascend, and is configured appropriately to improve

projects that are resourced appropriately to deliver significant

the way we operate internally, and with our customers and suppliers.

improvements to our various operations across Ascend. • Our

• We are also revamping our IT Service Desk. Our key goals are to

Change Control Board (CCB) consists of Finance, ISC, and HR leaders

continually improve incident resolution time, establish service level

that meet weekly to review and prioritize all pending requests

agreements with ongoing report-outs of success rates against those

ensuring we are focused on the requests that drive the most

commitments, and implement a centralized call center to service all

business value. If you’re interested in knowing who sits on the CCB

of our plants and offices, globally. • Beneath it all lies the infrastructure

or knowing what changes your coworkers are requesting and when

on which these systems run. Our infrastructure and network teams

they’re scheduled to go into effect, please visit our SAP SharePoint

are building a plan to apply modern technology solutions, which

site at • In the spirit of

will enable us to reduce our overall hardware footprint while

continuous improvement, key SAP enhancement projects underway

replacing aging hardware in the most cost effective and least

will deliver greater visibility to our spend in the areas of Procurement

disruptive manner. • Look for more IT news in upcoming issues

and Logistics, better on time delivery and credible promise dates

of the Ascend Newsletter.

Allison Roberman is the Chief Information Officer. 7


Pensacola FRC committee works to beat the heat LIMIT CAFFEINE INTAKE Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, thus it increases body metabolism two-fold, resulting in increased internal body temperature

It is a challenge to stay cool during the summer no matter where you are or what you are doing. Last fall the Pensacola site adopted a FRC policy for its Intermediates and shared services employees. While the FRC provides excellent protection against arc flash and flash fire hazards, it presents additional challenges to staying cool during hot summer months. • A committee of field employees from across the site took on the challenge of safeguarding Pensacola employees from the heat and came up with several ideas to help employees stay cool: • Smarter work practices such as scheduling more strenuous jobs in the mornings or evenings, and taking frequent breaks during the hottest part of the day • Changing up to eight work shirts to lighter weight, more breathable FRC shirts. The shirt will provide sufficient protection from a flash fire hazard however additional protection must be worn when there are concerns about arc flash hazards • Use of cooling devices such as cool bandanas, cooling vests, and hard hat inserts for particularly hot jobs • Education via Toolbox Safety Talks, Heat Index Alerts, posters and safety meeting discussions about heat stress hazards, the importance of drinking plenty of water, heat stress symptoms and treatment • Providing cooling areas with air conditioning or misting areas and/or tents for shade • Greater availability of drinking water and ice

KNOW YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS Medications such as Lasix, HCTZ, and other “fluid” medications prescribed for heart or blood pressure conditions keep the body in a constant state of mild dehydration. Antibiotics can make us more sensitive to the solar effects of the sun, and to heat


LISTEN TO YOUR BODY Thirsty = I am too dry, water me Dizzy = I need to sit down Nausea = I need to cool down Sweating ceases & skin becomes hot & red = I am in TROUBLE! INFECTIONS Viral and/or Bacterial infections, up to one week after last symptoms, place additional strain on our bodies to regulate internal body temperatures

Be pro-active to help your body tolerate the heat:

7 days

PERSONAL HISTORY OF A HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS If you have experienced a heat-related illness, you are more likely to have a recurrent heat-related event for up to a year later, with less heat exposure than the initial exposure

LIMIT HIGH FAT “HEAVY MEAL” INTAKE High fat and “heavy meal” consumption results in an increase in body metabolism which increases internal body temperature.

TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS WEAR LIGHT COLORED/LOOSE-FITTING COTTON CLOTHING COOL THE CORE Apply cool packs to the neck, under both arms and to the groin area to decrease internal body temperature. Drink cold water if nausea has passed, and no vomiting is present. Avoid rapid cooling as this will cause the body to shiver, thus increasing internal body temperature.


INCREASE FLUID INTAKE A well-lubricated machine runs more efficiently. 3:1 RATIO Consume 3 waters to every 1 electrolyte replacement beverage.


LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE Alcohol is a diuretic. Fluid lost when consuming alcohol is greater than the amount of fluid consumed, thus placing the body in a dehydrated state

While none of these ideas are the panacea for eliminating heat stress, used together they can help employees stay cooler and safer during the hot summer months.

LIMIT SODIUM (SALT) INTAKE Salt intake creates dehydration which causes the body to work harder to circulate fluids which increases internal body temperature.

by Chuck Clarke


continued > Chuck Clarke is the ESSH Lead in Pensacola.


Medical emergenc y tha t requires immediate medical attention Heat stroke is always life threateni ng. Bra in damage and death can result if the vic tim is not cooled quickly!










Working in a hot environment without building up a tolerance to the heat (i.e. acclimatization)

• Psychological distress (feel uncomfortable) • Loss of coordination • Loss of alertness • Dizziness/feeling of faintness

Moving the individual to a cooler environment

inflammation of plugged sweat glands

• Excessive loss of body salts through sweating • Usually occurs after periods of strenuous physical labor and heavy sweating

Loss of large amounts of fluid and excessive loss of salt through sweating

Breakdown of the body’s heat regulatory system

Hot, dry, and usually red spotted skin, body temperatures of 105° F or higher and rising, absence of perspiration, mental confusion, deliriousness, convulsions, and/or unconsciousness

• Summon medical aid immediately • Move victim to a cool environment and bathe his/her body with cool water until body temperature is reduced to 102° F. • Vigorous fanning will help increase cooling effect • Don’t leave victim unattended

Non-contagious skin rash marked by red pimples and intense itching

Painful, intermittent muscle spasms or cramps

Weakness or fatigue, nausea, headache, moist skin, pale/ flushed complexion, profuse sweating, and normal or slightly elevated body temperature

• Clean the affected area thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely • Calamine and other soothing lotions help relieve discomfort after leaving work (don’t use Calamine while still working in heat)

• Have victim drink water or electrolyte replacement/ sport drinks • Persons with heart problems or on a low-sodium diet should not use electrolyte/sports drinks without consulting a physician first • Gently massage or use firm pressure on the muscle that is cramping

• Have victim rest in a cool environment and drink water or electrolyte replacement/ sport drinks • Persons with heart problems or on a low-sodium diet should not use sports/electrolyte drinks without first consulting a physician • Severe cases of heat exhaustion require medical care


Congratulations 50 Years Betty Qualls

Decatur Reduces River Water Pump Costs by Al Faulkner

Decatur recently completed a successful A2E project led by the Boiler House “A” Decatur

40 Years

shift team. • The team identified an opportunity to optimize the number of river water pumps in service. The Boiler House operators were managing the river water

Philip Kellam Pensacola

pumps by a “seat of the pants” method without enough data to understand whether

Roy Thomas

river water needs were being met, or whether too much river water was being


35 years

utilized. They relied on pressures, experiences, and “gut” instincts. It was a poorly

Rhonda Navarro Chocolate Bayou

informed and unstructured way of managing the pump operation. • The team,

Curtis Ramsey Chocolate Bayou

led by David Lowery, identified the opportunity, discussed it with internal customers,

Sally Solis Chocolate Bayou

and developed an understanding of the needs, and a better understanding of the

George Bowers Decatur

critical equipment that used river water. The team also consulted with engineering

James Lollis

resources, as well Supervisors and team leads. • The team used the following A2E


30 years

tools in their efforts: Team Charter, Brainstorming, 5–whys, Data Collection, and

Elaine Powell Chocolate Bayou

Mapping. They sought customer participation to help in the effort, and the team

Floyd Moore Jr. Greenwood

developed a monitoring table of river water users across the plant. Now, they assist

Michael Norre

and advise the manufacturing units in monitoring critical operating parameters,


20 Years

and preventing pump startup too soon as ambient river water conditions and

Kevin Carrier Chocolate Bayou

manufacturing needs change. The initial result of this A2E project was a $58K

Johannes De Jongh Chocolate Bayou

saving in the past month. The team initially believed this effort was sustainable

Jeffery Graham Chocolate Bayou

in the Spring and Fall seasons, but after further review the team believes that a net

Michael Hardeman Chocolate Bayou

reduction of one pump from continuous operation is possible for most, if not all

Ben Harris Chocolate Bayou

year. This total reduction would produce an annual savings of $337 K. • The key

Clifton Johnson Chocolate Bayou

to success for this team was obtaining and using customer information that was

Sharon Johnson Chocolate Bayou

previously unavailable. By obtaining the information, and centrally cataloging it,

Sherman Nichols

Chocolate Bayou

the operators now manage area needs while minimizing overall pumping costs.

Darlene Sebesta Chocolate Bayou

Technology was used to provide pertinent information to operators who now

Gary Van Winkle

decide how many river water pumps to run based on data rather than “gut”

Chocolate Bayou

John Villareal Chocolate Bayou

instinct! Congratulations to the A2E River Water Pump Team!

Billy Allen Decatur

Al Faulkner is the Decatur plant manager.

James Baugh Decatur Jeff Petersen Kellwood Chris Hodges Foley Aaron Bocz Pensacola

Ascend News Editorial Advisory Board wants your thoughts! Have ideas to share? Want to become a member of Editorial Advisory Board? We would love to hear from you! If you are interested in contributing to Ascend News please contact us at


Ascend Newsletter August 2011  

Ascend Newsletter August 2011