Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Quiet Passing

A quick check of the folks that frequent my blog...IIWII ( It Is What It Is) always amazes me of the fact that our world seems to be getting smaller as we become closer through technology. The world events can and do effect everyone of us as humans.

Take the volcano in Iceland. It has touched lives from probably every continent on the face of the earth. A gentle reminder that we are simply guests here on this earth and the Creator, GOD Almighty will and can cause us to have an opportunity to examine our emotions and priorities.

It ain't all about us any way....is it?

Just an update to my list of IIWII blog visitors for your casual reading. Some of you are becoming regular readers...OR you're bored to tears and have no life....and I welcome you and your comments anytime. Drum roll please.......(make the drum sound in your head now)

Netherlands, Amersfoort Utrecht
Netherlands, Ten Boer Groningen
Russian Federation, Moscow Moscow City
Paris, France
Worcester, Worcestershire UK

Mountain View, California
Brattleboro, Vermont
Tyler, Texas
Flower Mound, Texas
Flushing, New York

There are others, but I won't completely bore you out of your skull. Actually, I find the visits from the Netherlands a connection to my story today. A small town that sits just south of my hometown of Beaumont, TX is a settlement by the Dutch. It has great heritage to the Netherlands and even boasts of its own windmill in their downtown area. The town, it's called Nederland. (with a long EE sound at the front end)

The chemical plant I have been employed at for over 20 years is closing the doors. Or to put it in corporate terms..."we have decided to exit the business." I give to you my sentiments entitled:

A Quiet Passing

I would wager a guess that most of the residents that pass by the numerous area industrial sites have no clue as to what is actually being produced inside the fences. Oh sure, the refineries make the fuels and lubricants that touch our lives, but what about those smaller facilities that are hidden by a stand of Chinese tallow trees and the entrances marked by overhead signage that eventually goes unnoticed.

There's one chemical plant that takes several different types of solution, solvents, and a base polyethylene to make a product that has touched virtually everyone that ventures by.
As a matter of fact, this single unit has been the primary site that supplied the entire world and has been safely located inside the same set of fences for over 52 years. The product is called HYPALON®.

The DuPont unit between Beaumont and Nederland has quietly been making great strides in the elastomers industry for years and for your information, the product has probably touched every one's life that is reading this. Oh really, you say. Let's do a quick checklist of a few items. Automotive belts, hoses, spark plug wiring insulation. Today's popular athletic style footwear finds our product being used in the adhesives. Inflatable boats, roofing, water treatment facility holding pond liners, snow shoe bindings, and fishing rod grips.

Have I named an application that touched your life? Surprised? Well that's okay too. Just so you will know our corporate management has made the decision to 'exit' the business and production has now ceased and the last bag of product has been boxed. Yes, another local business is quietly passing by and I wanted you to know that we were actually here.

Thanks neighbor, for allowing us to use the small two block area inside the DuPont Beaumont Works Industrial Park.

It's been a good run.

Over the history of HYPALON®, this small unit has produced well over 1.9 Billion pounds of product. It began in 1957 at the flagship facility in Beaumont, Texas. The very name of HYPALON® rings of quality and characteristics as a benchmark for the competition. HYPALON® has proven over time to resist the effects of ozone, heat, chemicals, and also its unique ability to withstand the elements of weather to maintain its coloring.

It is my humble and personal opinion, that the product is still viable and useful in our world, but other factors obviously figured in to the decision of DuPont to simply...exit the business.

Over the tenure of HYPALON®, the team dedicated to operations peaked at 160 employees. Today, just on the edge of extinction, that number stands at 81. Some whose careers will cease with the 'exit' of HYPALON® while others will continue in new directions.


  1. I've worked all around this plant site in the last 29 years; 1st as an auxillary in the Hypalon unit; then bumped back into the labor gang/janitorial group; then back into aux. in the Hypalon and Nordel units before getting a M/C bid; then passing a test to get into E/C; finally surviving the Nordel shutdown and coming back to Hypalon; while here from 1999 to present I went from E/C to operator to FLS back to operator and now my "retirement job" in the Lab; it has been quite a rollercoaster and in all those years I have never seen such stupid leadership (except for Hicks). It was fun while it lasted...

  2. it's a lot like AstroWorld used to be.. once you punch your ticket at the gate... you get to ride ALL the rides & let me say this Wes, getting to know you over the past few years, will be a stand out memory of mine. Thanks for everything.