A Commitment to Customers … and Community
In today’s world, the GEO commitment to safety and quality starts at home, in the towns where its employees live and extends globally to customers around the world. Solving problems and creating solutions that benefit our customers.
GEO invites you to take a look at these short stories on topics ranging from innovative customer solutions to examples of good community relations.
Consider this: the United States consumes 19.2 million barrels of oil each day and it produces about half, or 9.8 million barrels, of that oil while the rest is imported. Now, consider this: there could be 17 billion barrels of U.S. produced oil available sooner than we think – much of it located in a handful of shale oil fields like the Bakken Basin in North Dakota. These oil fields lie deep under the earth’s surface, some 10,000 feet underground. Drilling here is more art than science. One large problem is extending the life of the drill and the drill bit when deep underground. Making drilling more efficient to be able to more safely reach the immense amount of oil under surface can be done with GEO lubricants, i.e. GEOlube SCO. The lubricant provides lubricity, reducing drag and torque, and thus, extending the life of the drill bit and saving time having to replace it. Right now, GEOlube is used primarily to support more than 200 oil rigs in this north central region of the United States. However, the product – sold in drums and easily truckable pails for immediate use by oil field operators – has immense potential and cost savings to help the American oil boom as the industry improves its efficiencies and the United States reduces its dependency on foreign oil. Solutions. That is our specialty.
Manufacturers of precision metal components, such as those used in the automotive or aircraft industries, often rely on a casting process known as “investment” or “wax process” casting. This is particularly useful for precision casting of high melting point metals which cannot be cast in plastic or metal molds. The investment casting process involves the injection of a wax compound into a melt die to create a wax pattern. The wax pattern is then coated in a ceramic material, which is then cured. Finally, the wax is melted and removed to create a hollow ceramic mold.
The wax compounds used in this process must be carefully formulated to ensure that they maintain their dimensional stability and do not expand and contract during the various heating and cooling steps involved in the preparation of the mold. Bis-phenol A (BPA) is commonly used as an additive to help in this process, but there are significant health and safety concerns associated with its use as it is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as an inventory item under the Toxic Substance Control Act (section 8).
GEO’s TRIMET® TME can be used as a safer alternative to BPA in investment casting applications. It has very similar thermal and physical properties to BPA, but is non toxic, and as such is not an EPA regulated material. Solutions. That is our specialty.
An affordable solution to improve the equipment cleaning processes compared to other above ground cleaning chemicals currently being used in the Oilpatch. As industry production continues, a need to economically minimize waste and residual generated by drilling/completion processes becomes ever more important. One of the challenges in E&P is the need for quick and effective, equipment cleaning agents.
Wearers of contact lenses may not realize it, but their lenses usually display a subtle blue-colored tint. This is not a feature intended to enhance the color of the wearer’s eyes.
The light blue tint is there to make the lenses easier to see and handle when being fitted, and is an essential component of lens design. Incorporating this “handling tint” into the lens creates challenges for the lens manufacturer, involving additional manufacturing steps that not only add cost, but also significantly increase the risk of mechanical damage to the lens during the tinting process. GEO’s patented “Bisomer IMT in monomer tinting system” has been specifically designed to overcome these problems. It comprises a very simple to use, high-purity monomer dye, which co-polymerizes with the other monomers in the formulation, forming a blue-tinted polymer. As such, it can be easily incorporated into typical lens manufacturing processes. The elimination of additional production steps and improvement in yields offer lens manufacturers significant cost savings. GEO’s Bisomer IMT in monomer tinting system is FDA registered, exempt from certification, carries no restrictions on its usage and is suitable for both conventional and silicone hydrogel contact lenses. It is available as a monomer dye, or in a tailor-made, ready to use monomer blend. Solutions. That is our specialty.
In a world that needs more and better construction materials, wallboard is the backbone of the industry. In general, construction materials that are more efficient to produce, lighter to load, cheaper and easier to ship, and stronger than their predecessors are in demand.
Solvent based polyurethanes have been the work horse technology for the coating industry for the past 50 years. As awareness of the potential health hazards and impact on the environment has grown, pressure from environmental regulatory agencies and consumer protection groups to reduce the use of solvents has increased. As a result, water-based polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) have seen significant growth over the last decade, but this technology is not yet completely free of hazardous solvents.
By reducing the weight of wallboard, production, shipping and handling costs drop dramatically for this essential material used in construction worldwide. With new technology not yet developed, the key challenges were to reduce the amount of water and the amount of gypsum in the wallboard.
The Polk County Chamber of Commerce recently recognized GEO Specialty Chemicals for outstanding community service as Runner Up in the Industry of the Year award, presented on April 18, 2013 at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Operating continuously in Polk County since 1898, the GEO plant remains a respected and reliable employer, for reasons such as a near zero employee turnover rate and an average 22 years of service per employee.
A critical part of GEO’s growth strategy is finding ways to sustain product life, employee jobs, air and water quality, and corporate profits. The conversion from foreign oil to natural gas in manufacturing has been critical as American business strives to lessen dependency on oil imports. The additional production of natural gas in the United States, due to fracking techniques in shale, has led to increased natural gas inventories and falling prices of this domestic energy source. GEO monitored energy costs for several years to find the right time for conversion to natural gas. After determining that the long-term return on investment was justified to tap into a natural gas line owned by UGI Corporation, a local utility, and located a few miles from GEO’s Allentown manufacturing facility, GEO approved the capital expenditure to convert energy systems from fuel oil to natural gas. In December 2010, construction was completed of a 2.2 mile long pipeline, connecting it from the local utility source to the Allentown plant. This new, domestic fuel source fires three large boilers responsible for generating the steam that drives GEO plant production. The new pipeline is one way that GEO has fortified its position in the Paints & Coatings marketplace, preserving the employment of its workers, continuing valued partnerships with vendors and customers and all the while investing in environmental stewardship. With the installation, significant reductions in NOx, SOx, VOC and greenhouse gas emissions were achieved. The completion of the pipeline provided a unique community service, too: a nearby public high school tapped into the gas line, converted its energy source and saved taxpayers more than $400,000 per year. Solutions are our specialty.