PPG Industries is bringing innovation to the automotive industry, and the company’s product and technology offerings across several of its businesses help automakers and automotive suppliers enhance manufacturing efficiencies, make vehicles more corrosion-resistant, reduce energy consumption and improve fuel efficiency. These were some of the key topics discussed by PPG executives at a news conference held during the North American International Auto Show.
“PPG is a leading global automotive industry supplier across many product lines that for decades has made cars more colorful and appealing, but also higher-performing and environmentally friendly machines,” said Cynthia A. Niekamp, PPG senior vice president, automotive OEM coatings. “This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first use of PPG electrocoat technology in an automotive plant. This game-changing innovation has helped the industry manage the problem with rust. We are pleased to continue this tradition that started with the 1963 Ford Thunderbird and now benefits car owners everywhere.”
According to Niekamp, more than 51,000 vehicles are treated with PPG electrocoat every day, equating to more than 31 million vehicles per year.
Joining Niekamp were Tom Kerr, PPG vice president, fiber glass; Rick Zoulek, PPG vice president, industrial coatings, Americas; and Kevin Braun, PPG general manager, silica products. Each of these PPG businesses provides products and services to automakers and automotive suppliers.
Zoulek reviewed the introduction of Powercron 9000 electrocoat, PPG’s first electrocoat formula for the global automotive parts market that is formulated without a tin catalyst. According to Zoulek, with the new product, manufacturers will need less paint and less electricity to more uniformly electrocoat parts, and less wastewater will be generated.
“In addition, PPG’s recent acquisition of Spraylat enables us to offer an enhanced integrated product solution for key stages of the wheel-coating process including primers, basecoats, mica-coats and clearcoats,” Zoulek said.
Discussing the fiber glass business, Kerr outlined the evolution of composites in the auto industry and PPG’s response that has enabled designers to create auto components for overall cost and weight savings and fuel efficiency, helping automakers meet pending CAFE standards.
“PPG combined proprietary chemistries for the surface coating of glass fibers and innovations in fiber glass composition to create fiber glass products that achieve optimal balances of mechanical and thermal property solutions,” he said.
Finally, Braun reviewed the latest generation of Hi-Sil silicas that enable tire manufacturers to simultaneously reduce rolling resistance for improved fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase traction for improved safety and handling, and increase treadwear for longer tire life. He also discussed Agilon performance silicas that help enhance tire performance while also addressing productivity and environmental challenges associated with manufacturing high-value tires.