Powder Market Gets Tough

September 19, 2005

As one of the paint and coatings industry's younger technologies, the powder coatings market has had its share of growing pains. Hard to resist double-digit growth prospects caused a flood of entries into the marketplace, with each firm hoping to take its piece of the pie as end users looked for products that matched performance and regulatory needs.

Now, powder producers in Europe and North America are faced with unprecedented raw material prices, a maturing market and successful competing technologies. Critics contend the market suffered as some producers focused too much on price per pound rather than the real value they provided to their customers.

Based on conversations with industry executives and insiders for our cover story on powder coatings, companies have recognized the problems plaguing their market. And the good news is, they are doing something about it.

Powder coating companies appear to be focused on delivering value and key services; they are investing in R&D to take powder to the next level; and they are moving swiftly to make the most of the shift in manufacturing to Asia, fueled by China's voracious appetite for coatings.

Companies have recognized that market dynamics are changing in North America and Europe. Leaders know they need to have a solid plan in place to maintain or even better, gain market share. It may be a case of Monday morning quarterbacking, but it's better late than never. They don't want to see profits slide further and have their products and services undervalued.

R&D Staffers: Speak Out Online!

We are currently conducting our fourth annual R&D Salary Survey. Log onto to www.coatingsworld.com to link to our online (and anonymous) survey and give us your thoughts on the industry, your job and your paycheck. Responses will be published in our November 2005 issue.

Christine Canning Esposito

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