Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, PPG marked the completion of its new waterborne and high-solids automotive coatings line at its Wuhu, China facility and Axalta and General Motors UK renewed their supplier agreement. Hempel opened its new Central Distribution Centre in Texas and auto refinish distributor Finishmaster acquired HiTec Professional Paint and Body Supply. 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…
Heubach Constructs Production Facility for Anti-corrosive Pigments
Heubach has announced that it is constructing a production facility for anticorrosive pigments in the US, expanding the production capacity by 4000 tons. The facility will help meet the growing global demand for high-quality and, in particular, zinc-free anticorrosive pigments and to satisfy the individual needs and requirements of customers in North, South, and Central America. Heubach is one of the largest manufacturers of anticorrosives and one of the global leaders in the development and marketing of these special pigments. "Production of anticorrosive pigments in Fairless Hills (USA) is set to commence at the end of 2017. This investment substantially strengthens Heubach's position in the US and the global pigment production network of the Group as part of the planned growth strategy," says Birgit Genn, Executive VP of Heubach GmbH, to explain the further investment of the Heubach Group.
Wanhua Chemical Forms New Performance Chemicals Business Unit
Wanhua Chemical Group, one of the global leaders of polyurethanes, petrochemicals and specialty chemicals, has announced the formation of a new business division “Performance Chemicals Business Unit”. The newly formed division consolidates the previous ADI business unit and Specialty Amines business unit. Such consolidation will allow the new business unit to further strength its core competencies in production and marketing aliphatic isocyanates, specialty amines and other high performance chemicals. The newly founded “Performance Chemicals Business Unit” will concentrate on the development of high performance specialty chemicals. It will be responsible for developing, manufacturing and marketing high performance chemicals. Currently Performance Chemicals business unit operates production plants in Ningbo, Yantai and Czech Republic.
Cascades Sonoco Invests in Water-based Coating Technology
Cascades Sonoco, a joint venture of Sonoco Products Company and Cascades Inc. has announced the investment of approximately $16 million for the expansion of its existing Birmingham, Ala., facility. This investment in world-class water based coating technology will provide coated paper and paperboard substrates using its new FlexShield™, FluteSHIELD® and SurfSHIELD™ coating technology. This investment represents a significant geographic expansion for water-based products by Cascades Sonoco, especially in the fast-growing Southeastern United States,” said Rodger Fuller, senior vice president of Sonoco’s Paper & Engineered Carriers, U.S. & Canada, and Display & Packaging. With this exciting addition to its product portfolio, Cascades Sonoco remains dedicated to maintain its market leadership position in protective roll packaging for the paper industry.”
On Your Coatings Radar
On your coatings radar last week, Arkema announced that it has completed the sale to INEOS of its 50% stake in Oxochimie, their oxo alcohols manufacturing joint venture, and of the associated business. Graham Beesley, CEO INEOS Oxide said, “We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition. Oxo alcohols are a core business for INEOS Oxide, both supplying the European and global markets and supporting the manufacturing of our fast growing downstream intermediates businesses. We look forward to integrating the Oxochimie joint venture and growing our global market presence in oxo alcohols, aldehydes & derivatives.” Oxochimie is a JV between INEOS and Arkema at Lavéra, France and is not part of the INEOS Group Holdings SA group. Oxochimie produced butanols, 2-ethyl hexanol and oxoaldehydes on behalf of its parent companies that Arkema and INEOS marketed independently.
In industry-related litigation news, also on Monday, car owners fought to defend the validity of their consumer protection and fraud claims in an amended proposed class action in California federal court alleging Hyundai concealed a paint defect in certain cars that caused the paint to bubble and flake, arguing the defect goes against industry standards. Owners of certain Hyundai Santa Fe, Sonata and Elantra automobiles had brought breach of warranty and fraud claims against Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. and American affiliates Hyundai Motor America Inc., Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama LLC and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc., and on Monday fought back against the car manufacturers’ latest motion to dismiss the rest of their suit. Car owners from states that included Florida, Texas and California are fighting to keep alive their suit alleging Hyundai and a North American Kia subsidiary have long known that paint applied to cars like the Hyundai Elantra, Santa Fe and Sonata peels and flakes, leading to rusting and corrosion.
U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell in November, 2016 dismissed the proposed class action after concluding that allegations brought by more than a dozen car owners didn't hold up. But the judge gave the plaintiffs a chance to amend their claims. Hyundai wants the March 2016 suit tossed for good, arguing that the car owners haven’t even specifically alleged they viewed or were exposed to any representations relating to protection against or prevention of rust and corrosion prior to their vehicle purchases, according to court documents. And the car owners must prove they were actually deceived, which they haven’t done, Hyundai had argued.
Bodo Möller Chemie Opens New Branch in Morocco
The internationalization of the Bodo Möller Chemie Group in Africa is moving forward: the German company, headquartered in Offenbach, is opening its own company in Casablanca. "With the opening of a new branch in Morocco, we are reinforcing our presence on the African continent and after heading towards North and South Africa now follows the western region as well," says CEO of Bodo Möller Chemie Frank Haug. "We are increasingly focusing on products for applications in adhesive and sealing technology, in the composites and electrical sectors, as well as in the paint and coatings industry."
At the new location with modern office and warehouse facilities are marketed amongst others, products of the Huntsman's Advanced Materials division, such as epoxy resins, polyacrylates and polyurethane, as well as polymer materials for floor coatings and polymer formulations from the company's own Polymer System House in Egypt. In addition, the branch in Morocco supplies its customers with high-quality additives and epoxy resin systems for paints and coatings. Products for applications in the plastics and textile sector complete the portfolio.
Already at the end of 2015 the Bodo Möller Group opened up Egypt by taking over the highly modern production plant of Huntsman Advanced Materials in Sadat City and two sales offices with laboratories in Cairo and Alexandria.
The comprehensive distribution activities in the North and West African region covers now Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. In addition, there is a close cooperation with the Middle East through the subsidiary in Dubai. Haug sees great potential: "The West African market is experiencing an exciting phase, as this country offers many development opportunities and there is a strong demand for products and industrial sectors that we serve."
"With the expansion in the West African market, we are effectively continuing the expansion strategy of the recent years. In this way, we are able to expand existing trading cooperation and win new business partners," says Haug. Customer-oriented consultation and on-site presence create the company's added value: "The manager of the branch Lionel Breuilly and his French and Arabic speaking team will use their local presence and local warehouses to integrate their technical knowledge and sales experience into this market as best as possible." With this new branch the number of employees of Bodo Möller Chemie Group rises to almost 200.
Hempel Grows in North America
Hempel expanded its global network with a new Central Distribution Centre in Texas, demonstrating its continuing commitment to be closer to its customers.
Located in Northlake, Texas, the new Central Distribution Centre (CDC) enables Hempel to boost its efficiency and customer service and support its global growth. The new CDC warehouse will be responsible for distributing Hempel’s entire range of coatings to customers and stock points across North America.
Speaking at the official inauguration yesterday Hempel Group President & CEO, Henrik Andersen said, “We are delighted to be opening our new CDC here today. This new facility further cements our presence in North America. It takes us a step closer to our goal of achieving our 2020 strategy, Journey to Excellence, and supports our global growth. At Hempel, we are continuously investing in ways to streamline our operations so that we can deliver great customer service at a reasonable cost. This new facility allows us to do just that.”
With manufacturing taking place in Dallas and Conroe, Texas, this strategic investment allows orders to be fulfilled and shipped in record time and at reduced cost. The new CDC warehouse covers 202,000 sq. ft/18,766 sq. meters with 32 dock doors.
More than 30 new jobs will be generated in the first year alone and enabling the new CDC to contribute to the sustainable growth of Northlake and the surrounding local economy.
Hempel’s expanding infrastructure allows the company to increase productivity and efficiency, driving business growth for itself and its customers.
Subsea Industries Provides its Hull Coating to Polar Research Ship
Subsea Industries’ Ecospeed hull protection system has been selected for RRS Sir David Attenborough, the polar research ship under construction at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Liverpool, UK.
The £150 million contract to build the vessel, which Cammell Laird won against stiff international competition in 2015, represents the biggest commercial shipbuilding contract in Britain for 30 years. The ship has been commissioned by the National Environment Research Council (NERC) and will be operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
The 15,000gt research vessel, scheduled for operational duties in 2019, will be one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. Two nine-cylinder and two six-cylinder Bergen B33:45 engines in diesel electric configuration will provide power to propulsion motors driving 4.5m diameter controllable pitch propellers. The 128m long vessel will be capable of 60 days at sea without re-supply, covering a range of 18,898 nautical miles at 13 knots.
The shipbuilder awarded a coatings contract to Subsea Industries, a pioneer in non-toxic hard-coatings, based on the unrivalled performance of its Ecospeed hull coating system on the Royal Research Ships Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross.
“Sir David Attenborough required a fully ice-strengthened coating for operations in Antarctica as well as providing effective antifouling between the polar regions, without being harmful to the environment,” said Rob White, Senior Marine Engineer at British Antarctic Survey. “Ecospeed fulfils that requirement.”
In six seasons operating RRS Ernest Shackleton with Ecospeed coating, BAS had to touch up Ecospeed only in areas of mechanical damage and carry out minor repairs around the bow, the most susceptible area to ice impact. Following the performance on Ernest Shackleton, the hard coating was applied in 2015 to the hull of sister ship, RRS James Clark Ross. Results were again exemplary.
“After two seasons there was only minor hull growth, which was removed with a hull power wash,” said White. “When operating in the Southern Ocean, there is very little biofouling and during the rest of the year any growth that does accumulate is easily dealt with. This ensures a clean efficient hull and reduces the transportation of invasive aquatic species across different regions.”
Manuel Hof, Production Executive and NACE Coating Inspector, Subsea Industries, explained: “The coating is proven to reduce fuel consumption so the vessel is not burning as much fuel, thus reducing ship exhaust emissions and Sir David Attenborough’s carbon footprint. It also correlates directly to lower operational costs.”
Rob White went on to reveal that other hull coatings had been previously applied to both Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross, but these conventional coatings required additional anti-fouling treatments to prevent the build-up of hull growth.
“These coatings were expensive and did not last long in ice,” he said. “But since using Ecospeed and following the recommended annual maintenance, the requirement for additional hull treatments has been removed. It also eliminates the pollution of polar waters with heavy metals and hull contamination during research activities, which is extremely important to the scientific work NERC and BAS carry out. The vessel’s presence cannot interfere with the local environment.”
Indeed, the deposit of metallic elements and chemicals in the polar environments is addressed in the recently introduced IMO Polar Code, with Guideline G-23 stating that “no pollutants should be carried directly against the shell in hull areas at significant risk of ice impact”.
While this guideline does not specifically legislate against the use of traditional “soft” coatings for polar shipping, Rob White believes a tough, durable and long-lasting coating is required for hull plating integrity. “Ecospeed bonds very well to the bare steel on application and provides a tough effective barrier against the sea and ice,” he said.
“From the experience we have gained through using Ecospeed on Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross we were adamant that the hull coating for the newbuild should also be Ecospeed. Through-life costs, ease of maintenance and the environmental benefits help reduce operational costs and makes Sir David Attenborough a better research ship for polar science,” said White.
Siegwerk Expands its Water-based Ink Business by Acquiring Hi-Tech Products Ltd.
Siegwerk has signed a contract to purchase UK-based Hi-Tech Products Ltd. The specialist supplier of water-based inks and coatings develops and manufactures high-quality water-based flexo inks, mainly for printing on corrugated board packaging.
By making this purchase, Siegwerk is once again expanding its product and service offering for the packaging market. “Hi-Tech Products Ltd is an established and well-known water-based ink supplier in the UK. The company’s ink solutions and coatings perfectly complement our water-based ink portfolio”, says Dirk Weissenfeldt, Vice President Paper & Board and Liquid Food Packaging at Siegwerk. “This merger enables us to expand our local footprint in the UK and therefore to continue raising our profile as a supplier of water-based printing inks in Europe.”
The integration of the acquired products into Siegwerk’s water-based ink offering will enable customers from Hi-Tech Products Ltd to benefit from a more comprehensive product portfolio and the wider technological expertise offered by Siegwerk as well. Both companies target their solutions specifically at the customer’s individual needs. This perfect cultural fit will support a smooth transition and will simplify the integration process going forward.
“We are delighted to have found in Siegwerk a great partner and a new owner for our company. Over the last years we have built a solid company with innovative technology and excellent customer service. I’m convinced that Siegwerk can integrate our offering into their larger structure and thus advance it on the market. After 12 years, I would like to thank all of our customers for their support and to our staff for the many years of dedicated service. In the future, we hope to spend more time closer to our family in New Zealand,” says Wade Brealey, Managing Director of Hi-Tech Products Ltd.
The acquisition of Hi-Tech Products Ltd follows other strategic investments and disinvestments that Siegwerk has completed to enhance its position as a full-range provider for the packaging market. In 2016 Siegwerk, for example, purchased ACTEGA Colorchemie (today Siegwerk Buedingen) and opened a new Blending Center for the production of water-based inks at its Technical Center in France. These investments have enabled the company to enhance its water-based ink business in line with its goal of clearly devoting its resources to the markets of tomorrow and focus on its core business in packaging printing.
The parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details.
Chitec Names Karwowski VP and Managing Director for North and Latin America
Chitec announced the appointment of Christopher J. Karwowski as Vice President and Managing Director for North and Latin America, effective from February 26, 2017. In his new role, Mr. Karwowski will be responsible for business development, customer communications, new product introduction and corporate branding in the Americas.
“The appointment of Christopher is in line with Chitec’s global strategy to further strengthen our position in the Americas,” said Dr. Chris Chiu, President of Chitec. “We are eagerly anticipating the positive impact that Christopher will have here.”
Mr. Karwowski joins Chitec from FP-Pigments, where he managed large customers in coatings, plastics, and the ink industries. Prior to his tenure with FP-Pigments, he was a senior purchasing manager with Sherwin Williams for 11 years where he led the team that purchased a wide range of chemical additives, resins and high performance pigments for the decorative, aerospace, auto OEM, auto refinish, industrial and marine paints groups. Before his time with Sherwin Williams, Mr. Karwowski was the global key account manager with Ciba Specialty Chemicals. Mr. Karwowski also spent 15 years in process engineering and product development at PPG.
Mr. Karwowski and your old editor go way back to the PPG days, so I must take this opportunity to personally add, “Congrats, Killer!”
BASF Opens New Innovation Campus in India
BASF Group has inaugurated its new Innovation Campus Asia Pacific, located in Mumbai, India. The project will involve a total expected investment of up to €50 million from BASF Group and marks the Group’s largest research and development (R&D) investment in South Asia.
All global research operations at BASF Innovation Campus Asia Pacific (Mumbai) will be housed under BASF Chemicals India Private Limited, a 100 percent subsidiary of BASF SE. The new innovation campus will expand the company’s existing R&D activities in India to include global and regional research on a wide range of speciality chemicals. Topics will cover personal and home care, process development, organic synthesis, crop protection and much more.
The Innovation Campus significantly expands BASF’s research capacities in India, which were established in 2005 and expanded in 2014 to cover agricultural research, organic synthesis, molecular modelling and advanced process research.
The new Innovation Campus includes state-of-the-art laboratories for chemical synthesis, application and process development, as well as analytics. It brings all new and existing research and development activities by BASF in Mumbai under one roof. Combined with the broad range of current development activities, Innovation Campus Asia Pacific (Mumbai) will enable global know-how exchange and foster collaboration with customers, industrial and academic partners. The campus can accommodate up to 300 scientists and will bring together top scientists from India and other parts of the world.
The approximately 20,000 square-meter campus is a collaborative space housing scientific and technical laboratory, modern offices, a full-scale auditorium, cafeteria and employee amenities. The building features a secondary façade to minimise overheating from direct sunlight, energy efficient LED lights, rainwater harvesting, a reflective roof with photovoltaic panels and a windmill to generate renewable energy.
Over 50 percent of the lighting in the building will be generated from renewable sources, supported by many innovative solutions from BASF. It is designed to meet the silver standards of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the world’s most widely used third-party verification for green buildings.
In 2016, BASF Group’s research pipeline encompassed around 3,000 projects, and spending on research and development was €1.863 billion. Around 10,000 employees work in research and development worldwide. Globally, BASF maintains a collaboration network of around 600 excellent universities, research institutions and companies around the world.
“A growing need for energy, food and clean water, limited resources, and a rising world population pose huge challenges. Innovations based on chemistry will enable new solutions. As a consequence, BASF is expanding its research and development network, especially to emerging markets in Asia, as we want to drive innovation addressing customer and market needs at an early stage. Mumbai will be another powerful regional innovation hub for BASF, with proximity to the dynamically growing Indian market,” said Dr. Martin Brudermueller, vice chairman of the board of executive directors, BASF SE and chief technology officer.
“We see the demand for innovative solutions in many industries in India, including automotive as well as food and nutrition. Moreover, India is now home to a wide range of high calibre scientists and excellent domestic research capabilities. BASF has expanded its presence in India during the past several years, both in terms of local manufacturing as well as in providing tailored solutions for the challenges of mobility, housing, environmental protection and hygiene,” said Sanjeev Gandhi, a member of the board of executive directors, BASF SE, responsible for Asia Pacific.
PPG Marks Completion of Waterborne Automotive Coatings Production Line in Wuhu, China
PPG marked the completion of a new $19 million high-performance waterborne and high-solids coatings production line at its Wuhu facility in Anhui province, China on March 1. The new line enhances the production and service capabilities of PPG’s automotive coatings business for customers in China.
With the implementation in China of stricter environmental regulations, automakers have increased the use of low-volatile organic compound (low-VOC) coatings. The new line at PPG’s Wuhu plant adds production for environmentally-friendly waterborne coatings to meet this need as well as the growing overall demand by automotive manufacturers and parts makers across China. The new topcoat manufacturing facility adds process advancements and a higher degree of automation. In addition, storage tanks added to the facility help reduce waste at the Wuhu plant.
“PPG’s high-performance waterborne and high-solids automotive coatings enable our customers in China to meet environmental requirements while improving the quality of their vehicles,” said Vincent Robin, PPG vice president, automotive coatings, Asia Pacific. “With this added manufacturing capability in Wuhu, we significantly enhance our ability to serve our automotive customers across China.”
PPG established its Wuhu plant in 2008, to grow its manufacturing footprint in China and supply automakers across the country.
Axalta Coating Systems and General Motors UK Renew Three-year Agreement
Axalta Coating Systems in the UK and General Motors UK have renewed their three-year agreement which names Axalta’s three premium global refinish brands – Cromax®, Spies Hecker® and Standox® – officially approved suppliers for paint repairs on Vauxhall in the UK.
“General Motors and Axalta have a long-standing relationship both in the UK and globally,” said Mike Davis, Managing Director of Axalta Coating Systems UK Limited. “This has been built on Axalta’s ability to deliver high-quality product ranges, technical support and advanced color management tools consistently to GM body shops.”
The agreement enables Cromax, Spies Hecker and Standox to support GM UK’s Vauxhall dealers and its network of approved body shops in the UK with paint warranties, technical support and body shop management advice. The three refinish brands also play an active role in the training programs organized by GM UK, by providing ongoing product training as well as training events and seminars on refinishing techniques and color matching.
“At Axalta we put our customers’ requirements first and innovate with them in mind. This drives us to provide products, tools and services that are designed to help increase productivity and efficiency and to help make energy savings wherever possible. By renewing this agreement, GM continues to demonstrate its trust in Axalta’s ability to help drive its Vauxhall UK body shops to perform even better,” says Davis.
AkzoNobel Publishes Digital Report 2016
AkzoNobel’s integrated Report 2016 has now been published online, including interactive elements, stories, infographics and video that show not only the company’s financial results but also its environmental, human and social performance.
CEO Ton Büchner on AkzoNobel’s 2016 performance: “In a year of record profitability in terms of return on sales and return on investment, our purpose of creating everyday essentials to make people’s lives more livable and inspiring was brought to life. We continued to build on our solid foundation of operational excellence to drive growth and sharpened our focus on delivering more value for our people, our customers and our shareholders.”
“One of the most inspiring aspects of 2016 was seeing examples of our purpose being brought to life. Our Human Cities initiative played a major role in this, underlining how we welcome our responsibility to play an important role in the communities where we operate. During 2016, more than 300 projects were launched around the world, impacting over nine million people.”
“Our strategic focus on driving innovation to support organic growth gathered momentum. We launched a series of products, many offering major benefits in terms of their sustainability profile. Digital innovation is a major area of attention and is playing an increasingly important role in product development and how we work with customers.”
Axalta Researcher to Introduce Automotive Coating System Development at PITTCON
Dr. Chen Ling, Senior Scientist at Axalta Coating Systems will present new developments in the detection and characterization of chemical molecule migrations in multi-layer automotive coatings at the PITTCON Conference and Expo 2017. Dr. Ling’s presentation titled, Application of ATR-FTIR Microspectroscopy in Understanding Interlayer Migration of Automotive Coatings, is at 10 a.m. on March 8, on the Exposition Floor, Section 2030, Aisle 2500-2600, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Ling’s presentation will explore the new method she and her team have developed to better understand the chemical migration in a wet-on-wet coating process. Automotive coatings typically consist of multiple layers, individually sprayed and dried before another layer is applied. However, in a wet-on-wet coating process, a second layer is applied before the first layer is dry, and multiple layers are dried with a single bake, which can result in reduced energy consumption and increased manufacturing productivity.
“Our new method allows us to really zoom in to track and characterize the chemical migrations across the multiple coating layers produced in the wet-on-wet process. Specifically, we can characterize migrations of chemical molecules at a high resolution of about two micrometers, which is about one hundredth the width of a human hair,” said Dr. Ling. “Results from our tests can help us to better understand the relationship between the chemical migration and the overall coating appearance, which can lead to the development of improved coatings and coating processes for our customers.”
“Axalta is committed to meeting customers’ needs through technical development and innovation,” said Dr. Brian Priore, Research Manager for Analytical and Weathering Technologies, Axalta Coating Systems. “Analytical technology is one of Axalta’s core strengths that enables us to explore new areas to improve products and services. The developments by Dr. Ling and her team are examples of Axalta’s commitment to meet customers’ needs by supporting the continued growth of highly productive and more environmentally sustainable processes with reduced energy consumption like wet-on-wet coating applications.”
PITTCON attracts researchers and experts in laboratory sciences from industry, academic and government institutions around the globe and will take place March 5-9, 2017.
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