Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, SurfTec reviewed US DOE funding to develop a bearing coating and the EU granted funding for renewable isobutene production. Kraton started-up a new HSBC plant in Taiwan and Green Biologics received a BDC award. There’s much more where we continue and as always, you can go to the above items now using the links, or checkout our latest stories, which we’ll get to right away…
AkzoNobel Declines Third Merger Deal from PPG
AkzoNobel has declined a third unsolicited, non-binding and conditional proposal submitted by PPG Industries for all outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of AkzoNobel. AkzoNobel has concluded its own strategy. It offers a superior route to growth and long-term value creation and is in the best interests of shareholders and all other stakeholders. This decision follows considerable in-depth analysis of PPG’s proposal by the Supervisory Board and Management Board of AkzoNobel, working closely with their financial and legal advisors. As part of this process, Ton Büchner, CEO, and Antony Burgmans, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AkzoNobel, met with Michael McGarry, Chairman and CEO, and Hugh Grant, Lead Independent Director of PPG.
Researchers Create Non-fluorine-based Oleophobic Coating for Fabric
Coatings that make textiles oil resistant is fluorine-based and breaks down into chlorofluorocarbon gas, a greenhouse gas harmful to the environment. But that may change, as a result of a Cornell University cross-campus collaboration involving Emmanuel Giannelis, professor of materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering, and Jintu Fan, professor and chair of the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design in the College of Human Ecology. Work from their labs has yielded a promising new material – for which the pair submitted a patent disclosure to the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) – that could help change the way oleophobicity is developed. A provisional patent for the material has been filed by CTL, according to Giannelis. Fan was excited about the partnership, noting that engineers don’t always lend their expertise to the fashion industry.
Axalta Opens Americas Technology Center
Axalta Coating Systems, one of the leading global suppliers of liquid and powder coatings, held the grand opening event of its Americas Technology Center (ATC) located at its Mount Clemens, Michigan manufacturing and research complex. Reflecting Axalta’s commitment to innovation and performance, the ATC will provide product research and development resources dedicated to customers across the Western Hemisphere as one of the company’s four principal global technology centers. The ATC project was an 18-month endeavor to transform and expand existing laboratory space and spray facilities. Axalta scientists, chemists, and engineers will develop the next generation of coatings products for light vehicle, commercial vehicle, refinish and industrial customers throughout the Americas. Previous R&D conducted at the facility principally served the light vehicle segment in North America. As a strategic part of Axalta’s global network of technology centers, the ATC will combine our global expertise and research resources with local talent and market knowledge across the Americas,” said Barry Snyder, Axalta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
Bonnell Aluminum Earns PPG Certified Applicator Program Accreditation
The PPG coil and building products – exterior coatings group announced that Bonnell Aluminum, Carthage, Tennessee, USA has achieved PPG CAP CERTIFIED APPLICATOR PROGRAM™ (PPG/CAP) accreditation as a premier member.
Bonnell Aluminum joins a network of select commercial coatings applicators certified by PPG to apply high-performance fluoropolymer coatings such as DURANAR® liquid coatings to aluminum architectural components.
Guy Charpentier, marketing manager for Bonnell Aluminum, said membership in the PPG/CAP program helps differentiate the company. “Over the past 60 years, we have built a legacy of high-quality products and responsive service,” he explained. “Earning PPG Certified Applicator Program accreditation enhances that legacy and provides an added level of assurance for our customers, knowing that they are working with two of the most trusted companies in the industry.”
Brian Knapp, PPG director, coil and building products, said PPG was proud to welcome Bonnell Aluminum to the program. “We’ve worked with the team at Bonnell Aluminum for many years and have always been impressed with their products and the strength of their customer relationships. They are a valuable addition to our network and will be a great resource for the architects, designers and contractors who rely on it.”
To qualify for PPG/CAP accreditation, applicators undergo rigorous auditing that encompasses all aspects of the coating process, from cleaning and pretreating the metal substrate to application of the coatings. The audit also includes a continuous training and education component and specifies paint application parameters and cure schedules.
PPG/CAP accreditation enhances the ability of coatings applicators to meet building industry demands for value-added products and solutions. The program offers architects, general contractors, glazing contractors and other customers the highest levels of quality, reliability and performance.
PPG-certified applicators provide sourcing of aluminum-coated components, well-trained people, fast-track service to meet tight construction deadlines, and state-of-the-art technology through well-managed manufacturing locations.
Axalta’s Refinish Brand Provides Unique Features to Mercedes Sports Cars
Spies Hecker®, one of the three premium refinish brands of Axalta Coating Systems has been responsible for the paint on the high-impact, instantly-recognizable liveries of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Silver Arrows race cars for three years, including the Championship-winning 2016 Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid car. The Spies Hecker Hi-TEC Performance System is used on the race cars and provides the unique formulations developed for the current color scheme.
Axalta’s involvement in Formula One™ - the premier global racing discipline - is a key component of Axalta’s decades-long strategic motorsports partnerships in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America, which demonstrate the technology and durability of its coatings in high endurance racing environments.
“It takes about 150 hours to paint a race car, with the nose and rear wing each taking about 12 hours, so the speed of application and reliability is essential. We don't have time to accept anything less than perfect and Spies Hecker delivers that for us,” says Andrew Moody, Head of Paint and Graphics, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
For the 2017 season, the livery of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ car is striking. EQ stands for “Electric Intelligence” and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of “Emotion and Intelligence”. The new model designation has been translated graphically into the livery of the new W08, with an electric blue visual representation of the airflow that runs across the car from the front wing to trailing edge of the side-pods.
These sleek, thin green and blue lines give an instant impression of speed and movement, even when the car is standing still. The design also relays the image of sparks flying over the speeding race car’s chassis, causing an almost electrified appearance. The effect on track is imposing.
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ race car has 13 colors, none of which are commercially available: five shades of green, three shades of blue, four shades of graphite silver, and the main color, called Stirling Silver after Sir Stirling Moss who drove for Mercedes in 1955.
BASF Ranks 25 on List of DiversityInc Top 50 Companies
For the fifth consecutive year, BASF was named one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc. Since 2013, BASF has been recognized for its corporate performance in leadership accountability, talent pipeline, talent development and supplier diversity.
BASF was also ranked in the Top 15 Companies for Military Veterans, based on the company’s strong commitment to hiring veterans and the support BASF provides through its VETS employee resource group that aids in the transition from the military to corporate work environment. This year, BASF was also ranked on the list of Top 12 Companies for Recruitment, demonstrating diversity in workforce, new hires and the management talent pipeline.
“There are simply not enough qualified people to hire. A company’s ability to find the best and brightest, advance and retain them equitably is a decisive competitive advantage,” said Luke Visconti, Founder and CEO of DiversityInc. “The DiversityInc Top 50 have a decisive metrics-evidenced ability to treat people more fairly than other large companies. They also have a greater-than-average return for their shareholders.”
"At BASF, we believe in the power of diversity and inclusion to create rich connections with our people, our customers, and our communities,” said Wayne T. Smith, Chairman and CEO, BASF North America. “Individuals with different backgrounds and experiences bring new ideas and perspectives to the table. Diversity makes us stronger, and leveraging our differences enables us to bring the best of BASF to everything we do."
The DiversityInc Top 50 list, issued yearly since 2001, recognizes the nation’s top companies that excel in such areas as hiring, retaining and promoting women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT, and veterans.
“At BASF, we value the differences in our workforce as they are the key to the success of our business,” said Patricia Rossman, Chief Diversity Officer, BASF North America. “Receiving this prestigious honor from DiversityInc is a testament to our commitment to build an inclusive environment encompassing all aspects of diversity, including gender, race, experience, and points of view.”
The honorees were announced on May 2 in New York City, where more than 1,000 business leaders from across the country were present. The announcement dinner included a keynote address from Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (NMAfA), who was honored with DiversityInc's 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dow Announces Updated Transition Timing
The Dow Chemical Company on May 11th announced an update to the transition of Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris, to reflect that he will serve as Executive Chairman of DowDuPont from closing of the DowDuPont merger transaction (anticipated to occur in August 2017) through April 1, 2018, at which time he will become Chairman through July 1, 2018, at which time he will retire from the company and the Board of Directors.
“Given the complexity, unique structure and Andrew’s role as a key architect of this transaction, the Dow Board believes that the continuity of leadership will best serve our shareholders during this critical time of transition. This enables us to achieve the full value-creation promise behind the merger and subsequent intended spins,” said Jeff Fettig, Dow’s Lead Independent Director and current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Whirlpool Corporation.
Kraton Starts-up HSBC Plant in Taiwan
Kraton Corporation, one of the leading global producers of styrenic block copolymers, specialty polymers and high-value performance products derived from pine wood pulping co-products, has announced the opening of the 30 kiloton hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer (HSBC) plant in Mailiao, Taiwan.
The Mailiao plant will support Kraton's innovation-grade business, particularly low molecular weight HSBC products. These polymers impart performance characteristics such as toughness and clarity in olefin-based compounds targeted for automotive, medical and film applications as well as low viscosity for thermally stable adhesives, sealants, and coatings.
The facility's key features include a process and product laboratory with capabilities for manufacturing low viscosity products. Approximately 100 people are employed at the plant, which has already achieved more than 1.8 million work hours without a recordable incident since construction began in early 2014. The plant is currently in commercial production after a successful trial productions period.
"The Mailiao plant will enable Kraton to serve the growing Asian and export markets more effectively than ever before through higher production capacity of our differentiated grades of HSBC," said Kevin M. Fogarty, Kraton's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The plant is a demonstration of our continued commitment to innovation through investments in state-of-the-art infrastructure and organic growth in key markets."
The Mailiao plant is owned and operated by Kraton Formosa Polymers Company, a joint venture between Kraton and Formosa Petrochemical Corp.
PPG Recognized by Forbes Magazine as One of America's Best Large Employers
PPG announced May 9th that it is among America's Best Large Employers, according to a list published today by Forbes magazine. This is the second consecutive year Forbes has recognized PPG among the 500 most highly regarded employers in America, based on independent research findings.
Forbes partnered with research firm Statista, which surveyed about 30,000 American workers, to compile the list of the best large employers (those with more than 5,000 employees) in America. Respondents were asked how likely they would be to recommend their own employers, or other employers in their industries, to potential employees.
AkzoNobel Adds Design App for Powder Coatings
Architects, designers and specifiers can now research and create a full coatings specification from a mobile device following the launch of a new app from AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business.
The Design app allows users to develop a bespoke technical specification in a matter of minutes by offering a choice of filters at each stage of the decision process. These filters range from type of construction material, geographical location of project and durability requirements, to liquid and powder coating options, color choices and finished look.
A powerful tool which can increase customer efficiency, the new app is the latest addition to the rapidly growing selection of innovative digital solutions provided by AkzoNobel across its businesses.
“We realize it is time-consuming going through color cards, and then checking that products meet the necessary requirements of durability, toughness and weathering,” explained Russell Deane, AkzoNobel’s Global Specification Manager for the powder coatings architectural segment.
“Our new app short-circuits the whole process, but without any compromises to the level of detail that a specification can demand. And it can be done from anywhere in the world, whether you’re on the road, out in the field, or in your client’s office.”
Users can find full data sheets, test reports and property characteristics for each paint range and finish. The app also lets users check real-life examples of projects where their selected products have been used.
Dow Scientists Named “Heroes of Chemistry”
Scientists from The Dow Chemical Company were named ‘Heroes of Chemistry’ by the American Chemical Society (ACS) this week for their rigorous commitment to helping create greener and more economical architectural paints. Through the creation of AVANSE™ Acrylic Resins and EVOQUE™ Pre-Composite Polymers from Dow Coating Materials, the brains behind the bonds recognized an opportunity to improve a market that is vital to the human condition—architecture and infrastructure—and are being acknowledged for it with this honor, bestowed by the world’s largest scientific society.
When it comes to making a positive global impact in the chemical industry, each innovation made toward raw material efficiency and product durability is notable, on a cost, service life and environmental level. For Dow’s enhanced binder platform, a polymer-pigment composite technology, the amount of titanium dioxide (TiO2) needed to support improved hiding is minimized, which not only reduces the cost of a can of paint, but lowers its environmental impact through reduced VOCs and energy consumption, while increasing its overall durability, aesthetics and performance.
“AVANSE and EVOQUE Polymers are textbook examples of Dow’s commitment to making the world a better place,” said Neil Carr, business president for Dow Coating Materials, Performance Monomers and Plastic Additives. “Behind every successful technology development is a talented team of scientists and engineers who deliver solutions to make coatings work better.
The novel, patented chemistry forces the pigments in paints into a more ordered geometry in the wet and dried paint films, which results in improved paint performance with lower cost raw materials. In the United States alone, approximately 700 million gallons of house paint are sold each year. That paint is the first line of defense against the elements that can erode and damage homes, buildings and infrastructure, making the complex chemistry behind it all the more notable.
Both AVANSE Acrylic Binder and EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer Technologies have far-reaching impact due to the sheer size of the global paint market, the vital nature of paints in protecting homes and all manner of buildings and the success this polymer-pigment composite technology platform has already seen in this market. When taking into consideration the enhanced paint performance and durability aspects facilitated by the polymer-pigment composite technology, the potential to reduce coatings’ associated greenhouse gas emissions rises to 123,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. This amount is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions generated from the gallons of gasoline used by approximately 14,000 cars or the amount of carbon sequestered by approximately 26,000 acres of pine forest.
“It is not simply the breadth of knowledge our team brought to the table that made these technologies so groundbreaking,” said Sarah Eckersley, global R&D director, Dow Coating Materials, Performance Monomers and Plastics Additives. “It is their understanding that true success couples scientific insight and creativity; it is building on successful product introductions and in-depth research that has fundamentally changed paint making over the past several decades. These men and women don’t just have to know a little – they have to have a deep and comprehensive mastery of the science.”
The scientists being recognized as Heroes of Chemistry come from a variety of chemistry disciplines, including Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, Physical, Polymer, Computational and others. Dow’s scientists involved in these projects include Linda Adamson, James Bardman, Kebede Beshah, Marie Bleuzen, James Bohling, Ward Brown, Stan Brownell, Michael Clark, Beth Cooper, Steven Edwards, David Fasano, Catherine Finegan, John Hook, Melinda Keefe, Alvin Maurice, Ozzie Pressley, William Rohrbach and Wei Zhang.
Heroes will be recognized in a ceremony on Sunday, August 20, 2017, during the ACS 254th National Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C.
Industry and MPs Aligned on Future of REACH: BCF
Last month, the Environmental Audit Committee published the results of its inquiry into the future of chemicals regulation after Brexit, to which the BCF submitted a response.
The Committee’s report was aligned with the views of the coatings and wider chemical industries, reflecting the sector’s concerns on the complexities around transferring REACH into UK law with the Great Repeal Bill, clarification needed from Government on REACH registrations, retention of registrations, and the difficulties of having a separate UK system of chemicals regulation.
Select Committees are made up of at least 11 MPs from different political parties who scrutinize government policy. The Committees publish inquiries into specific policies and findings are reported to Government, who formally respond to the Committee but do not have to adopt the recommendations.
The findings of the inquiry reflect the results of the chemicals supply chain’s recent Brexit survey conducted earlier in the year.
Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive of the British Coatings Federation, said: “I’m pleased the inquiry report is synonymous with the results of the chemical industry survey on the future of REACH in the UK. Over three quarters of BCF members said that a separate UK chemical regulatory system would be bad for business, which is acknowledged as being expensive for the taxpayer and industry.
“It’s clear from our members that access to the single market is vital, and it’s positive that the inquiry report notes that the UK should negotiate to remain a participant of REACH. I hope the Government will pay the report heed by taking a pragmatic approach to the future of the UK’s chemical regulations and provide certainty to the industry.”
Asian Paints Posts Year-end Results
Asian Paints, India's largest paint maker, reported a better-than-expected 10% increase in quarterly profit as price increases helped offset the impact of rise in raw material costs. Consolidated net income for the quarter ended March 31 was 4.80 billion rupees ($75 million), compared with 4.35 billion rupees a year earlier. Sales grew about 9% to 44.16 billion rupees. Analysts were expecting the company to report a net income of 4.71 billion rupees.
"Raw material prices have moved up over the last two quarters necessitating price increases to protect margins," K.B.S. Anand, managing director and chief executive of Asian Paints, said in a statement. "The decorative business segment in India registered a low double-digit growth in the current quarter after witnessing some recovery from the impact of demonetization," Anand said.
Revenue from the paints business grew 8.8% to 43.28 billion rupees, while the company's home improvements segment reported a more than 18% increase.
Asian Paints has been outperforming its peers in terms of volume growth amid strong expansion in the international market as well as the company's efforts to move up the value chain to be a home solutions provider. The company said its board also approved a special dividend of two rupees and reappointed Anand as managing director and CEO for a further period of two years with effect from April 1.
Chromaflo Chief Appointed to ACA Board
Scott Becker, the President and CEO of Chromaflo Technologies Corp., has joined the American Coatings Association Board of Directors as of May 9, 2017. With this appointment, Becker will serve a three-year term ending in 2020.
Becker has been the President of Chromaflo Technologies, the largest independent global supplier of advanced colorants and chemical dispersions for the paint, coatings and thermoset plastics industries since 2012. Previously, Becker served as Chief Executive Officer and President at Plasticolors, Inc., and Elementis Specialties' Colorants and Additives business.
“I am honored to be nominated and confirmed to the Board of Directors of the American Coatings Association and look forward to this opportunity to better serve the coatings industry,” said Becker.
The ACA is a nonprofit association with the goal of advancing the paint and coatings industry. Through this opportunity, Becker will help carry out ACA’s mission of advancing, promoting, and supporting the coatings industry companies, organizations and professionals.
Siegwerk Displays at UV Days 2017
Siegwerk, one of the leading providers of printing inks for packaging applications and labels, will present its broad ink portfolio for UV printing at ‘UV DAYS 2017’, IST METZ’s in-house trade fair hosted at the company’s headquarter in Nuertingen near Stuttgart, Germany. From May 15-18, 2017, UV experts and interested people from around the world come together for the eighth time to exchange about trends and latest developments in UV technology. This year’s focal point will be on food packaging printing.
“IST METZ is the world’s leading provider of UV systems and one of our valued partners for a long time. With its biannual event ‘UV DAYS’ the company offers a fantastic platform for international exchange on the topic of UV technology,” says Marc Larvor, Head of Technical Marketing Sheetfed and Narrow Web, at Siegwerk. “As a market leader for UV inks and varnishes for packaging and label applications, our experts will be happy to present our newest developments and state of the art ink solutions, with a special focus on food packaging applications and on LED curing applications.”
At the ‘UV DAYS 2017’ , in the field of low migration UV systems, Siegwerk will not only present bestsellers like for example its UV flexo printing series SICURA Nutriflex 10 for label applications but also its newest low migration solutions for UV offset printing: SICURA Nutriplast 2, an ink series with a high adhesion level and versatility of a wide range of plastic substrates, and SICURA Nutriboard 2, an ink series offering outstanding printability for a variety of paper and board applications.
Regarding LED curing applications, since 2009, when Siegwerk was the first to demonstrate the use of inks, which had been matched to the specific radiation spectrum of LED UV light, the company is one of the pioneers for innovative ink solutions specifically designed for LED UV printing. With SICURA Nutriflex LEDTec, Siegwerk has for example launched the market’s first low migration LED UV flexo inks for food and pharmaceutical packaging and label applications in 2016. Next to this market innovation the company will also showcase its SICURA Litho LED ink series as a suitable solution for high speed sheetfed LED UV offset printing for commercial applications as well as its SICURA Screen LEDTec opaque white for labels applications at the upcoming UV DAYS 2017.
“UV printing is still a growing market driven by the technology’s convincing benefits of fast curing speed, surface flexibility, high print quality, durability and no emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC),” explains Marc Larvor. “As one of the technological advances of the recent years, LED UV curing will also influence the future development in the printing industry. Its potential for eco-efficiency, cost-effectiveness and productivity advantages convinces more and more printers.” Due to the fact that UV inks dry in a matter of seconds, the printed material can be immediately processed when coming out of the press, which saves printers money and time. UV printing can be used with almost any surface, absorbent or not, and therefore offers printers and brand owners a vast selection of inflexible and flexible print substrates.
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