Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Industry News from our Publication Partner - Products Finishing

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


Top Shops: Total Parts FinishedOpen in a New Window

In the recent electroplating Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey, the average shop finished roughly 8 million parts per year, while the mean was at 95 million. The Top Shops averaged roughly 63 million parts finished each year, while all other shops averaged just over 1.1 million parts per year. This is the total number of parts, including those who perform barrel plating of small parts, so the numbers may be skewed in that direction. To learn more about the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey, please visit HERE


Slovakian Super Sports Car Uses Axalta Spies Hecker Coating on S1 PrototypeOpen in a New Window

Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has been selected as the paint provider for the prototype of the Brutal S1, a Slovakian road-legal, tuned-for-performance super sports car. Using Axalta’s Spies Hecker premium refinish brand, the project was realized with the support of Color Centrum Vráble s.r.o., Spies Hecker’s Slovak distributor. Ten years in the making, the Brutal S1 has a wedge-shaped body with sharply defined edges, gull-wing doors and a distinctive rear. The light two-seater is powered by a 300-hp, 2-liter turbocharged Subaru engine. “The essence of the Brutal S1 is a racing machine engineered for high performance,” says Marian Lušpai, founder of Brutal. “The brakes and sections of the suspension come from motor racing. It is basically a thoroughbred racing car that is licensed for use on public roads.” Lušpai’s brief to Color Centrum Vráble s.r.o. was to avoid unnecessary weight from the paint. Attributed to Axalta’s experience in other motorsports disciplines around the world, including NASCAR and Formula OneTM, the company says this was an easy brief to fill. Joachim Hinz, Spies Hecker brand manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, says, “In order to achieve the required minimum coating thickness, Color Centrum Vráble s.r.o. used the Spies Hecker Hi-TEC system products, which can be applied extremely efficiently. The snow-white Brutal S1 is a real eye-catcher that has unsurprisingly already attracted a lot of attention at trade shows and exhibitions.” For more information, please visit


PPG Withdraws Proposal, Efforts to Pursue Offer for AkzoNobelOpen in a New Window

PPG announces that it has withdrawn its proposal to combine with AkzoNobel and will not pursue a public offer for all issued and outstanding shares of AkzoNobel. PPG made the final decision on June 1 after careful consideration, including the stakeholder interests of both companies. “We were hopeful throughout this process that AkzoNobel’s boards would see the merits of our compelling proposal to combine our two great companies and create significant shareholder value and a more sustainable business for the future,” says Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer. “We strongly believe a combined company would create more opportunities and provide more benefits for our collective customers, employees, shareholders and society in general.” PPG made a final attempt in its proposals at the end of May through a letter addressing the companies values and considerations for stakeholders, offering additional commitments and assurances hoping to negotiate a fair transaction. Despite the final efforts, AkzoNobel’s boards have consistently rejected proposals and further negotiation, PPG says. “As always, PPG remains focused on identifying growth opportunities that will drive value and strengthen our company. We remain committed to our longstanding disciplined approach to business portfolio management and cash deployment,” McGarry says. According to AkzoNobel, the company is now turning its attention to the views of its own stakeholders. AkzoNobel recently announced its plan to implement a program closely looking at improving shareholder relationships in respect to PPG’s proposals. “We highly value shareholder perspectives and regret that a number of shareholders believe we have insufficiently explained our considerations in respect of PPG’s proposals,” says Ton Buchner, AkzoNobel CEO. “We understand our responsibility and accountability to shareholders and will do our best to provide further insight in order to increase understanding concerning our strategic decisions. We will be seeking and listening to feedback with an aim to improving these important relationships.”