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News and comment from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander

Building on the good things

April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010

“Massey has been repeatedly cited and fined for problems with the system that vents methane and for allowing combustible dust to build up.” So says an AP story in today’s Chicago Tribune about the disaster at the Big Branch mine with 29 fatalities. Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship will have to get used to seeing his name in the news. As BP found after the Texas City disaster, those events don’t go away quietly.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have DuPont rearranging some parts of its company to help it expand its abilities to serve as a consultant on the good things it does. The DuPont Sustainable Solutions division is growing as the company combines three businesses under that umbrella. The former DuPont Safety Resources, segments of DuPont Clean Technologies, and Coastal Training Technologies will be joined in this new group. The company says its new division “is a catalyst for transforming workplaces and work cultures with services and technologies that bring about sustained improvements in safety, operational, and environmental performance.”

DuPont has a history for safety, and it has maintained that effort for generations. It has something to offer in all these areas, and many other manufacturers could learn some valuable lessons. James Weigand, president of the new group puts it this way: “Customer insights and the market have told us that growth-oriented companies consider three key attributes when selecting an external consulting partner: real-world experience, a collaborative approach, and the ability to help foster sustained transformation. They are looking for solutions beyond the workplace safety consulting that DuPont has successfully provided for many years. This expanded DuPont organization brings together people, processes, technologies, and services that significantly expand our ability to help our clients meet their business objectives, and in doing so, we believe we will achieve double-digit growth over the next five years. DuPont’s long history of implementing safety and process improvements, both within the company and for external clients worldwide, enables us to deliver customized performance solutions that take into account cultural differences and diverse industry requirements.”

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