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Industry News from our Publication Partner - Products Finishing

BASF Invests $40 Million in Automotive Coatings for North AmericaOpen in a New Window

BASF Corporation expands its automotive coatings production in North America with investments of nearly $40 million over the next two years. According to BASF’s announcement, the investments add capacity to the company’s production plants in Greenville, Ohio, and Tultitlan, Mexico. “These investments reflect our continued market growth and underscore BASF’s commitment to developing a sustainable production platform that provides customized coatings solutions,” says Chris Toomey, BASF senior vice president, Coatings Solutions North America. Increased waterborne basecoat capacity in Tultitlan and electrocoat emulsion capacity in Greenville enables BASF to continue to drive innovation through production of automotive coatings. Waterborne basecoats are low volatile organic compound paint products that give vehicles their color and electrocoat or ecoat primers are applied to vehicles to prevent corrosion. “BASF is a process and product innovator. We’re the global leader in integrated process and we pioneered waterborne basecoat technology as part of our commitment to social responsibility and environmental protection,” says Frank Hezel, vice president, BASF Coatings Mexico. “Our added capacity positions us well to continue our innovations to serve our automotive coatings customers.” For more information about BASF’s Coatings division visit


IFS Coatings Launches eBookOpen in a New Window

IFS Coatings launches a new eBook covering practical tips and advice on every aspect of powder coating. The first few chapters can be found in the news section of under “Guides.” The resource provides practical information on a huge range of powder coating topics, for powder coaters of all types and sizes and is designed to provide instant access to problem solving, FAQs, real life advice and tips from the experts. Just some of the topics covered include information on the various powder types, application issues, two-coat powder systems, spraying metallics as well as appearance issues, what causes them and how to solve it.  “We want to provide our coaters with the information and experience they need and hopefully this goes some way to making sure the knowledge of our technical service reps is available to them 24/7,” says IFS president, Glynn Mason.   “Our mission is to deliver unparalleled service and products to the industry, and this awesome new eBook is part of that. It’s user friendly, accessible on your phone, tablet or computer and was written by real life powder coating experts with hundreds of years’ experience between them,” Mason says.  The first 4 chapters of the 12-chapter eBook are available on and more will be delivered on the IFS Facebook page on a weekly basis. Connect with IFS on Facebook to receive the full eBook. For more information, visit 


PPG Names Behmlander, Stamm Aerospace General Managers; Morris to RetireOpen in a New Window

PPG announced it has named Tim Behmlander aerospace general manager for the Americas and Reiner Stamm to succeed him as aerospace general manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Behmlander replaces Dave Morris, who retires July 1 as aerospace vice president and general manager for the Americas after nearly 50 years in the aerospace industry. In their new positions, Behmlander continues as a member of PPG’s aerospace leadership team, and Stamm joins both the company’s aerospace and EMEA-region leadership teams. Behmlander began his PPG career in 1994 at the Troy, Michigan, automotive technical center, holding posts in the company’s automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coatings business before joining its aerospace business. After serving as regional business manager for the northeast U.S. and then for the southwest U.S. and Mexico, he became aerospace general manager for the EMEA region and India in 2013. Behmlander earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Michigan State University. Stamm joined PPG in 2000 as business manager for the aerospace application support center in Hamburg, Germany, and then moved to the company’s automotive OEM coatings business, where he most recently served as market director for the north and east EMEA region. He previously worked for Valspar Corp., and he earned an MBA from City University of Seattle and a diploma and a Ph.D. thesis in organic chemistry from Technical University in Braunschweig, Germany. Morris began his career in 1970 at the John Blair Company in Columbus, Ohio, becoming its president before moving in 1989 to Products Research Corp., which later became PRC-DeSoto International. He joined PPG with the acquisition of PRC-DeSoto in 1999, was promoted to aerospace vice president in 2003, and was named vice president and general manager for the Americas for PPG’s aerospace business in 2007. PPG’s global aerospace business offers coatings, sealants, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armor, as well as chemical management and other services. For more information, visit


AkzoNobel Completes Expansion of Coatings Research Facility in HoustonOpen in a New Window

AkzoNobel has completed the $3.5 million expansion of its U.S. research and development facilities in Houston, Texas. Carried out in phases over a period of three years, the investment in the site—which employs around 40 scientists—will support the company's Protective Coatings, Marine Coatings and Specialty Coatings businesses. Part of AkzoNobel's ongoing investments in its global RD&I activities, the Houston upgrade follows an investment of €12.6 million in a research and innovation hub in Felling, UK, announced earlier this year. "Our new state-of-the-art research and development facilities in Houston enhance our unique capability to develop and deliver products and innovations with specific performance requirements for North America. Our development capabilities are now second to none," says Steve Feldman, vice president for Protective Coatings North America. Chuck Hampton, business director of AkzoNobel's North America Marine Coatings business adds, "I am delighted that the investment and upgrade at our Houston site is now complete. The work underlines our commitment to technology and product innovation and providing technical support for our customers." Additional capabilities at the facility include a dedicated area for experimental paint making, a modern paint application laboratory and environmentally controlled drying areas for conditioning of test panels. Enhanced chemical resistance testing equipment is also available to support the Ceilcote and Enviroline lining ranges in North America. "As well as offering a more rewarding work environment for our employees, the upgraded facilities will bring us closer to our customers by delivering new testing and applications capabilities, and help us work closely with industry to continue developing solutions for their specific needs," Hampton says. For more information, visit


TCI Powder Coatings Announces New Product Development LaboratoryOpen in a New Window

TCI Powder Coatings, a subsidiary of RPM International Inc., announces the opening of its new product development laboratory in Americus, Georgia. Planning for the lab started in the Spring of 2016 with the official opening taking place in January of 2017. The primary functions of the lab include developing innovative products, improving current technologies, and producing rapid color matches. Other lab features include analytical work, corrosion testing, environmental research and testing, manufacturing, and customer support. Color matching equipment and software combined with an upgraded database of improved pigments provide for unparalleled color matching capabilities and quick turn-around times, the company says. A styling room is available for critical color matching/styling work and spaces designed for customer collaboration and employee training are included. The lab also has FTIR and DSC capabilities. Those working within the lab include product formulators and chemists, segment technology leaders, color matching specialists, and analytical chemists. For more information, visit


Airport Tower Featuring Duranar Sunstorm Coatings Wins Metal Design AwardOpen in a New Window

PPG announces that the new air traffic control tower at the San Francisco International Airport, featuring Duranar Sunstorm coatings by PPG, has earned a Chairman’s Award for design excellence from the Metal Construction Association (MCA). The 221-foot tower, designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects, features a metal and glass facade twisted into the shape of a torch. Two Duranar Sunstorm coatings were specified for the project. Duranar Sunstorm XL Silver coatings were chosen for the entrance system and exterior aluminum curtain wall framing, and Duranar Sunstorm Galaxy Silver coatings were used to finish the interior-facing curtain wall framing. According to PPG, the tower is engineered to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake and designed to achieve LEED certification at the Gold level from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Combining proprietary PPG resin and pigment technologies with a base 70-percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin, three-layer Duranar Sunstorm XL coatings protect and beautify aluminum building components with a primer, a durable color coat inflected with pearlescent flakes and a clear topcoat for enhanced resistance to chalking, fading, chipping and peeling. Linetec of Wausau, Wisconsin, applied the extrusion coatings on weather-exposed exterior surfaces and interior-facing framing members. 3A Composites USA Inc., Davidson, North Carolina, supplied 10,000 square feet of 4-mm Alucobond Plus aluminum composite material (ACM). Keith Panel Systems Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, fabricated 1,500 metal wall panels for the rainscreen system, and Pacific Erectors, Rocklin, California, installed the panels. The annual Chairman’s Awards recognize exceptional building projects involving members of the Metal Construction Association (MCA). They are based on overall appearance, the significance of metal in the project, innovative use of metal and the role of metal in achieving project objectives. For more information about Duranar Sunstorm coatings, visit


PCI Updates Coatings Comparison AppOpen in a New Window

The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) announces that its mobile coatings comparison calculator app has been updated. To ensure that you have the most up-to-date app, remove the old app from your phone and go to the Apple Store or the Google Play Store to download the newest version. When you search, use the words “Coatings Comparison Calculator” or use the links below. Apple: Google: The coatings comparison calculator is a simple tool for evaluating and comparing the material cost of a powder coating and liquid coating. The app uses information such as volume solids, application or reclaim efficiency, specific gravity, product cost and applied thickness to calculate and compare the cost of each material. It offers a visual comparison of between powder and liquid material cost, or can be used to evaluate each coating material individually. Users can also stay up-to-date with upcoming PCI events and training opportunities. “All powder coatings are not created equal so this app is a simple tool to help in evaluating and comparing the material cost of a powder coating versus a liquid coating and for comparing one powder coating to another,” says Craig Dietz with Axalta Coating Systems.  “The Coatings Comparison Calculator is great tool from a reputable site. I have it saved on my favorites toolbar and will be visiting often when I am quoting jobs,” says Allison Lee of Coatings Plus in Boise, Indiana. For more information, visit  


Dürr Receives Ford Motor Company´s World Excellence Award for Second YearOpen in a New Window

The Ford Motor Company has honored Dürr with a World Excellence Award for outstanding suppliers for the second consecutive year. Dürr received the award in the “Gold Award” category for its work on upgrading and expanding the Ford Motor Company´s paint shop in Valencia, Spain, and for jointly developing environment-friendly and flexible production concepts with the Ford Motor Company.  Bruno Welsch, president and CEO of Dürr North America, accepted the award from Hau Thai-Tang, Ford Group vice president global purchasing. “Our goal is to improve our customers’ production efficiency by means of innovative technologies and services,” Welsch said. “We are delighted that we have once again been able to demonstrate this expertise at Ford. The World Excellence Award will spur us on to perform outstandingly for Ford in future projects, too.” In total, the Ford Motor Company presented World Excellence Awards to 54 suppliers during the ceremony at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.


Henkel Partners with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Alfa Romeo Giulia Luxury VehicleOpen in a New Window

Henkel and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are set to discuss close cooperation in the development of ground-breaking new treatment processes applied to the latest version of the Alfa Romeo Giulia luxury vehicle. Both companies will share the podium at Surcar 2017 in Cannes, France, on June 29-30. FCA and Henkel worked together for almost three years to develop and tailor Henkel materials and systems for FCA’s specific needs. Included in the collaboration is Henkel’s Bonderite two-step metal pretreatment technology designed to offer lightweight and sustainable performance. The Bonderite two-step metal pretreatment process was developed by Henkel for multi-metal bodies with very high aluminum contents (up to 80 percent), providing superior corrosion performance while reducing investment and processing costs. The dip coating process uses zinc phosphate in the first step to treat the steel, followed by aluminum treatment in the post rinse.  The new Giulia has a body that is 90 kg lighter than a comparable all-steel body, achieved by using aluminum to account for 45 percent of car body weight. “Aluminum can be eaten up by the acids normally used to phosphate steel, so there is a need to find a balance in the treatment process,” says Manfred Holzmueller, sales director Transplant OEM Business at Henkel. “Corrosion performance is equal to tricationic zinc phosphate, but the Bonderite process generates 30 - 50 percent less sludge, consumes fewer chemicals, and creates less surface roughness that demands rework. Lower operating temperature also saves energy.” At Surcar 2017, Holzmueller and Roberto Selvestrel from FCA Materials Engineering Paint will discuss results achieved by using new metal treatment systems applied to the new Giulia, created through close cooperation between body engineering, process and materials engineering, and the process material supplier. The presentation will shed light on a holistic approach involving state-of-the-art multi-metal pretreatment technology as well as acoustic, structural, sealing and coating technologies in the body and paint shop. According to Holzmueller: “The new Cassino paint shop is providing FCA with a step-change in quality for its vehicles. The company now uses the most modern paint shop technology for the production of high class vehicles. We believe that the innovative spirit at Henkel is clearly on show in the new Giulia. We are facilitating weight reduction through the use of lighter metals, and we are helping our customer cut costs and improve sustainability by using fully automated application systems and reducing waste by avoiding sludge and overspray in its the processes.” For more information, visit  


Top Shops: Different Type of PartsOpen in a New Window

The average Top Shop in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey finished about 12,000 different types of parts a year. That is more than double the 4,500 different parts in the median. The average shop finished roughly 38,000 parts in a year. All other shops averaged about 700 parts finished in a year. To learn more about the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey, please click HERE