Covering lots of ground

By Tim Wright | August 4, 2009

In this issue of Coatings World we take a look at a diverse range of topics that have all been impacted by the current global recession. First, the airline industry is not really flying high these days. On top of difficulties faced with 9/11 and fuel cost escalation, now the recession has sent airline revenue tumbling. Riding out the turbulence coatings manufacturers are confident business will turn around and are helping airlines reduce costs while innovating more environmentally-friendly coatings. Two of the leading aerospace coatings manufacturers in the world-Deft Aerospace Coatings and AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings-share their ideas on the condition of the market as well as some of their latest technological breakthroughs and projects in the pipeline.

For manufacturers of high performance pigments (HPP), the sluggish U.S. housing market and ailing auto industry undoubtedly means HPP suppliers will face another tough year. Of the many suppliers Kerry Pianoforte spoke to for this story, BASF's Thierry Chevrier, vice president, dispersions and pigments for BASF in North America, said he is optimistic that the U.S. government's stimulus funding plan will help lead to some improvement in the market by year end, continuing into 2010. Let's hope the stimulus plan does indeed have some teeth and can begin providing some much needed relief to sinking bottom lines.

Looking at foreign growth markets, Devaraj Parthasarathy reports from India that the Indian paint and coatings industry is still performing well despite slower growth due to the global financial crisis. The size of the Indian industry is approximately 940 million liters valued at approximately $2 billion. Over the last ten years, the industry has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12-13% and in the next five years, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11-12%.

Sean Milmo for this month's International Report-Europe, takes a look at the dual effect recessions have on the small- to medium-sized players. He says in particular economic crises can offer chances for expansion to SMEs, which are active on the leading edge of new technologies. At the same time, recessions can be periods of great financial difficulties for small companies.

Taking a break from his usual duty as Coatings World's Latin America correspondent, Charles Thurston this month reports on Benjamin Moore's new "ben Color Capture," an iPhone application that lets users snap a picture of any color and instantly match it to one of the more than 3,300 hues in BM's color system. It is a unique technology that could shape the future of the consumer color selection process.

Tim Wright

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