Axalta Coating Systems recently broke ground to expand its manufacturing capacity for coatings with the construction of a new $50 million eco-friendly waterborne facility in the Jiading district of Shanghai. At a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the region, Axalta chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver officially ushered in a new phase in the company’s commitment to the automobile industry in China.
Expected to begin production in 2015, Axalta’s Shanghai waterborne facility will manufacture and supply up to 25,000 metric tons of its highly acclaimed waterborne products. Axalta’s technological leadership in waterborne paints and expanded capacity for waterborne production will support the long term growth of an automotive industry that is extending into the southern and western areas of the country. Both Axalta products and the manufacturing facility itself will contribute to the overall sustainable development of China’s automotive industry
“We invested in this facility to meet growing customer needs for high-performance water-based coatings solutions. With this new facility, we are expanding our capacity to provide waterborne paints to help China’s auto industry develop sustainably,” Shaver told the audience at the ground breaking ceremony. “Our technological leadership focuses on developing environmentally friendly coating solutions. Our new facility will also employ the latest generation production systems to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations.”
Axalta’s waterborne production process utilizes a global waterborne technology system to produce “Lean and Green Automotive Coatings” that automobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can use to significantly reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), energy consumption and investment. The “Lean and Green Automotive Coating” process includes primer-less coatings and 3-wet coatings which can achieve full layer performance without having to flash and bake between coats. The increased productivity results in a better bottom line for customers while still producing an unparalleled finish on vehicles. In addition, Axalta’s waterborne products are intrinsically environmentally friendly and meet global environmental requirements, such as the EU’s VOC Regulation 2004/42/EC which Axalta adheres to in China, and which can help reduce the overall environmental footprint of China’s auto industry.
“We appreciate Axalta’s forward thinking approach to product development,” explained Sun Lianying, chairman of the China National Coating Industry Association. “Axalta’s eco-friendly production process is aligned with China’s direction to develop in a sustainable path and we look forward to witnessing the construction of the Axalta Shanghai waterborne facility.”
Over the past two years, the Chinese government has issued a series of regulation to decrease the environmental burden of the auto industry, including the requirement for all new automotive manufacturers’ production lines to use eco-friendly waterborne coating products. This foresight for the future will have a tremendous impact on the sustainable development of China’s automotive industry.
“We are very pleased to see that Axalta has continuously invested in expanding its production of technologically superior products tailored specifically to our local demands,” said Wang Zhongcheng, vice president of FAW-VW Chengdu. “As one of China’s leading automobile manufacturers, FAW-VW is moving to a sustainable model for development and the waterborne products produced at this facility will help us achieve our business objectives in the region.”
Axalta is a high-technology coatings company backed by more than 145 years of product innovation. Auspiciously, the year 2014 also marks the 30th year that Axalta companies have been doing business in China. This institutional knowledge has helped Axalta maintain its leadership role for developing cutting edge coating products. In addition to the new Shanghai waterborne facility, in China Axalta has a plant in Changchun and a second Jiading facility, five powder coating operations in collaboration with joint venture partners, four refinish training centers, a Global Color Lab and Asia Pacific Innovation Center in Shanghai to support R&D, and a new Asia Pacific head ofice also in Shanghai. Globally, Axalta does business in 130 countries with a worldwide network consisting of 120,000 customers, 35 manufacturing facilities, 42 refinish training centers, and seven R&D centers.