In early June, guests from the EMEA region were invited to the Axalta’s specially-designed Innovation Forum inside Wuppertal’s Historic Town Hall. It was a journey through the depth and breadth of Axalta’s innovative, sustainable coatings, which are delivered every day to more than 100,000 customers in 130 countries. The Innovation Forum delved into today’s innovations in color, sustainability, product and application technology, and also provided a glimpse of those coatings that might be available over the next 150 years.
The first of several themed areas – called Pit Stops – in the Innovation Forum addressed the color trends being trail blazed by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Axalta’s color design through Axalta’s Color Show. This section also featured a state-of-the-art virtual reality color-rendering tool that uses touch screen technology to visualize different colors on different vehicles displayed in different environments. The second Pit Stop focused on innovative solutions from Axalta’s three global refinish brands – Cromax®, Spies Hecker® and Standox® – that help customers improve speed, accuracy and skill. This area of the Innovation Forum underscored Axalta’s focus on supporting customers in many different ways: from an interactive, web-based e-learning platform, to a surfacer with revolutionary technology that is changing the refinish process by shortening drying times substantially. In the Sustainability zone, Axalta’s powder coatings and its Energy Solutions business took center stage. In yet another area, which concentrated on innovations in products and services, Axalta’s long-standing relationships with OEMs and Formula One racing was showcased.
On 8 June 2016, Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver opened the expanded European Technology Center in Wuppertal, Germany. The Center will be home to the company’s liquid coating research facilities for the EMEA region. The ETC comprises facilities that house the latest coating research equipment. The entire campus encompasses 161,400 square feet of laboratories, formulation and application capabilities, a weathering and corrosion service, pilot-scale and full scale-up facilities, and customer demonstration center, as well as offices.
Axalta’s celebrations for its 150-year anniversary of course also included its employees. A European road show, designed specifically for employees, started in April and is visiting 13 Axalta sites in eight countries over two months, from Västervik in Sweden, to Barcelona, Spain, stopping off in the UK, Germany, France, Austria and Spain, to name a few of Axalta’s major facilities. The specially-built truck holds a 645ft2 exhibition, which guides employees through Axalta’s past, present and future. The truck’s visit to Axalta’s Wuppertal site coincided with the opening of the European Technology Center.