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"Pool Position" workshop in Wolfsburg presents innovative solutions and products from BASF's automotive world for Volkswagen

Published on 2007-11-08. Author : SpecialChem

Wolfsburg -- Refreshing ideas, lively presentations and wind in the sails of everyone at BASF and Volkswagen committed to quality and mutual success every day were all part of the agenda of a BASF innovation workshop held at an unusual venue. The former Wolfsburg indoor pool was the setting for BASF to show how it helps its customers reach the pole position - or perhaps more fitting for the venue, "pool position" - and maintain this leading position on a long-term basis. The Volkswagen Global Key Account team headed by Dr. Siegfried Riediger had prepared the innovation workshop over a period of many months - at all times in close cooperation with and supported by BASF's Global Automotive Steering Committee (GASC) and the Automotive Communication Community (ACC).

A warm welcome by Juan G. Ximènez-Carrillo Gerber, BASF Coatings, Head of Strategic Business Unit Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions and Siegfried Riediger (right.), Global Account Management VW Group, for the visitors of the Volkswagen innovation-workshop.
A warm welcome by Juan G. Ximènez-Carrillo Gerber, BASF Coatings, Head of Strategic Business Unit Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions and Siegfried Riediger (right.), Global Account Management VW Group, for the visitors of the Volkswagen innovation-workshop.

The event was bursting with energy right from the kick-off, resembling a powerful but elegant racing dive into BASF's automotive world. "Lifeguard" Riediger and his team allowed the visitors to "test the water" by leading them past a number of booths featuring BASF's automotive competence. They were manned by experts who could offer more detailed explanations of the particular topics. This was just the first highlight of the workshop, followed closely by another.

BASF's color shows are informative and are well known in the automotive industry. The designers are always thinking up original ways to present the coating beauties they create in close cooperation with the automotive industry and based on analyses of the societal and sociocultural developments in the regions of this world. BASF Coatings' designers Michaela Finkenzeller and Mark Gutjahr presented the new trends, which were displayed on samples "driven" down a moving belt into what used to be the watery depths of the pool. Where in the past, waves had rippled, bleachers were set up for the amazed spectators. Supported by brilliant videos, lighting effects, and music, Finkenzeller and Gutjahr moderated a spectacular color show, a true wellspring of ideas for the cars of tomorrow. The two designers had designated their presentation "Color Casting", and their moderation resembled that of the popular television casting shows. As the designers made their comments, the coating beauties practically floated into the area on the belt. The visual pleasures may soon be featured on Volkswagen models. The first day closed with a number of conversations, discussions, and the exchange of information.

The second day was entirely devoted to the "Pool Position" theme. The text on the "pool passes" let the visitors know what to expect: "The idea pool of the automotive future is bubbling away. New materials are meeting new requirements, and eco-efficient production processes are responding to global changes." Riediger added, "The Pool Position workshop presents innovative solutions and products from BASF's automotive world. We expect the visitors to distill, extract, weigh, be bold, meddle, and mix."

The Pool Position certainly featured a premiere: It is likely to have been the first time a swimming pool has been the setting for lectures for interested parties from the automotive industry. The fact that this can be done successfully was proven by Dr. Markus Templin (High End Surfaces - Aromatic polyurethane Skins), Michaela Finkenzeller (Color Casting Color Show), Dr. Jürgen Weiser (Steron Technology), Frank Reil (Strong and Light - Plastic Replaces Metal), Jochen Gassan (BASF Quality Cascade for Plastic Trim Components), Dr. Klaus-Dieter Hörner (Automotive Leather), Dr. Stefan Arenz (TPUs for Soft-touch Surfaces) and Christian Bonten (Plastics Meets Designers).

And what would a swimming pool be without opportunities for "aqua fitness"? Dr. Siegfried Riediger, Uwe Bauschulte, Christina Ewringmann, Michaela Finkenzeller, Knut Hoffmann, and Manuela König proved to be genuine fitness trainers from "The Experts on Color/Coatings". Plastics and Engineering Plastics were represented by Willi Bartholomeyzik, Thomas Fritzsche, Steffen Funkhauser, Jochen Gassan, Thorsten Herrmann, Nicolas Inchaurrondo, Frank Reil, and Stephan Schäfer. Dr. Stefan Arenz, Ralf Berelsmann, and Norbert Prechtl provided information on polyurethanes and Elastogran. The BASF design factory was represented by Christian Bonten, Sandra Hermanns, and Norbert Mosbach. Carsten Höhne, Andrea Hördt, Dr. Klaus-Dieter Hörner, Hans-Peter Weber, and Dr. Jürgen Weiser presented information on Performance Chemicals. Dr. Uwe Fidorra, Dr. Rainer Henning, and Andreas Lier answered the visitors' questions on pigments, and Ralf Nörenberg and Christian Steinig served as experts from Technical Textiles. Visitors with questions on environmental management and eco-efficiency analyses could turn to Katrin Keinert, Dr. Frank Mönkeberg, and Dr. Ana Alba-Perez.

In the eyes of Dr. Siegfried Riediger, all in all, the workshop was very positive. "The crucial building block for developing sustainable connections is close cooperation with our partners. With Volkswagen, we have done this successfully, both in the past and today. This innovation workshop provided us with a number of new impulses and ideas that we can now implement in concrete products, applications, and services. I am sure that we will manage this successfully." Riediger thanked the guests from VW, his Global Key Account team, and everyone involved both on stage and behind the scenes, who had done everything they could to make the two informative days a success for everyone concerned.

Source: BASF

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