New technologies mark the path ahead

By Tim Wright | March 19, 2007

In this issue of Coatings World we review the automotive coatings market and report on the challenges automotive OEM coatings suppliers face as a result of rising energy costs. Innovations in the development of energy-reducing technologies is one way automotive paint makers are looking towards the future and it is an area that continues to quicken pace.

Coinciding with our review of the automotive coatings market, Sean Milmo discusses in his report from Europe advances that are being made with regard to UV curing technology for automobiles. While UV curing has made significant strides in the refinish sector, the OEM market has not witnessed the same level of penetration. One of the major reasons is because the shapes and sizes of the automobile bodies has made it difficult. However, a new plasma technology is being developed that is allowing topcoats of automobiles to be UV cured.

Also, be sure to check out our Business Corner column for the final installment of Chemark's three-part series discussing different aspects of global marketing. This has been a successful series judging by the responses we've recieved. It makes us proud to know the information we provide you our readers is generating good dialogue and is helping to move the industry along. This is why we chose to share some of this feedback with you, hoping to encourage you to do the same. We appreciate your responses to help guide us in poviding you with the quality coatings information you need and are open to any and all comments.

Tim Wright

Dear John and Phil Phillips,
Thanks for the perspective on international business. I just started my MBA program at the University of North Carolina (UNC), and find this topic timely. We are studying the Arthur and Chandler models of business environments. The Chandler model seems to be more appropriate for the chemical industry. That is, firms can excel in international business when they have the proper scope and scale of investment. Perhaps this model can be revised-but how can small- and medium-sized U.S. firms realistically compete in offshore markets without the scale and scope, and how are we defining size? Small specialty firms with good networks internationally represent a minority of the 380,000 manufacturing firms you referenced.

Thanks again for the article,
Eric Dumain
Market Development Manager
Reichhold Chemical Company

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