By David Savastano
The Chinese paint and coatings industry is a global powerhouse. In 2002, China became the second-largest producer of coatings worldwide when it surpassed Japan, and it should pass the U.S. in coatings production in the near future. China is also a major consumer using 4.5 million tons worth of coatings valued at US$11.6 billion, annually.
Even as the economy suffered, China’s government took steps to help reduce the impact of the recession, pouring RMB¥100 billion into infrastructure improvements, which should stimulate the domestic market and lead to growth.
The powerful Chinese coatings market has drawn strong attention from the international coatings producers, as more than 50 leading foreign coatings manufacturers have operations in China.
With this in mind, it is clear why CHINACOAT (The China Int'l Exhibition for Coatings, Printing Inks and Adhesives) has become the leading coatings show worldwide. CHINACOAT is organized by Hong Kong-based Sinostar International Ltd. Alternating between Shanghai and Guangzhou, CHINACOAT has defied the global trend of shows growing smaller, as the attendance grows at each venue every other year.
“CHINACOAT and the accompanying Surface Finishing Exhibition (SFCHINA) have become one of the industry’s most prestigious and popular event,” said Mr. Raymond Ho, director of Sinostar International. “Since its inception in 1996, the growth has been phenomenal in all aspects of exhibit size, number of exhibitors and visitors. I cannot list out all the factors but here are a few: unprecedented economic growth in China; availability of qualified technical/marketing personals at relatively low cost; the world’s top ten coatings manufacturers now having at least one production base in China; China’s R&D program is attracting massive foreign investment; and lastly there is an ever increasing domestic demand for consumer durables.
“The total output of China coatings manufacturing has well exceeded 6.30 million tons in 2008, compared to 5.97 million tons in 2007,” Mr. Ho said. “Today, China is number one in the world in powder coatings while automotive OEM, wood coatings, architectural paints and functional coatings are also doing very well.”
This year, CHINACOAT returns to the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) from Nov. 18-20, 2009. In spite of the global recession, CHINACOAT appears to be as strong as ever, with more than 600 companies across the world confirmed to exhibit, including 400 Chinese producers of raw materials and equipment.
The numbers, as always, should be excellent: CHINACOAT 2007 in Shanghai was attended by 24,412 visitors, including 2,800 overseas attendees from 31 countries. In terms of exhibitors, 616 direct exhibitors, representing 796 companies, were on hand in 2007.
Even as the recession overtook the paint and coatings industry, CHINACOAT 2008, held in Guangzhou, remained strong, as 23,855 attendees, including 2,367 international visitors, came to CHINACOAT 2008 to see the 742 exhibitors and learn from the technical programs.
This year, there will be much emphasis by exhibitors on quality, sustainability and green technologies. There will also be plenty of learning opportunities, as the 7th CHINACOAT Conference, a pair of innovative workshops, seminars, national presentations and new-tech corner, featuring sessions on hygienic coatings and functional additives, allows CHINACOAT 2009 Shanghai to achieve its goal of being the platform for the largest transfer of global technology for the industry.
The 7th CHINACOAT Conference
Automotive finishes are a critical part of the coatings industry, and as such, were a perfect topic for The 7th CHINACOAT Conference, which was held Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 at the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel, Pudong.
“Automotive Finishes: Focusing on the Key Aspects of Durability & Ecology” showcased the growth of the Chinese automotive and automotive coatings industry. It was noted that China has more car brands than the U.S., and there has been stunning growth in ownership of vehicles, growing from 25 million at the end of 2005 to nearly 45 million at the end of 2008. As a result, OEM coatings output is growing dramatically.
Mr. Dip Dasgupta, chairman, DD Technology Forum, UK, and chair of The 7th CHINACOAT Conference, spoke of the growth of the automotive coatings market in China, and its selection as the topic for the CHINACOAT Conference.
“China’s automobile industry is experiencing a phenomenal growth,” Mr. Dasgupta said. “The Chinese car market overtook Japan in 2007 and now I understand that it has just moved past the U.S. So the selection of this theme has been very appropriate. OEM coatings output, currently over 180,000 tons is set to reach 300,000 by 2010.”
There are critical needs for automotive coatings. Quality and durability are essential, and sustainability and environmental concerns are equally important.
“Commercial success no longer hinges on large volume but on sustainable performance,” Mr. Dasgupta said. “Today, global environmental awareness, technical challenges and commercial expediency are working in unison. High-tech durable auto-finishes must now comply with the notion of sustainability.”
Among the highlights Mr. Dasgupta pointed to were talks on cathodic electrodeposition using self-crosslinked acrylic and epoxy resins, stable polyester polyols using bio-based technology, surface modified silica nano-particles for improving scratch resistance and improving hardness while maintaining flexibility.
Mr. Dasgupta said that the importance and growth of the annual CHINACOAT Conference has been phenomenal.
“The bilingual CHINACOAT conferences are designed to improve liaison and technology transfer between China and the rest of the world,” Mr. Dasgupta said. “Today, China no longer offers only boundless reserves of cheap labor, but also its appetite for high-tech systems continues unabated. After 25 years of organizing technical conferences all over the world, my last seven years with Sinostar have been a steady and enjoyable learning curve.”
It is notable that plans are already in place for The 8th CHINACOAT Conference, which will discuss the equally important theme of “Architectural Coatings for a Sustainable World.”
To help provide cutting-edge information for coatings and ink professionals, CHINACOAT is also holding two specialized seminars. These special workshops will cover fundamental principles involved in formulation development, from synthesis of novel resin binders, selection of raw materials, to design, characterization and optimization of coating and ink formulations.
The workshops will held from 13:30 to 16:30 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), Hall E2, Room M17.
On Nov. 18, Professor Long Lin, Director, Digital Print Centre of Industrial Collaboration & the Department of Colour & Polymer Chemistry, the University of Leeds, UK, will discuss “Design & Optimisation of Coatings/Inks Formulations.”
On Nov. 19 from 13:30 to 16:30, Dr. Jianqing Hu, Faculty of School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Department of Colour and Chemistry, Leeds University, will analyze “Fundamental Principles of Coatings & Adhesives Formulation.”
The workshops, which will be conducted in Chinese (Mandarin) only, are specially designed for manufacturers and R&D personnel engaging in the production/formulation of raw materials, printing inks, paints and coatings.