PPG recently invested some $8 million in upgrades to its Allison Park Coatings Innovation Center where scientists develop and test paints and sealants for autos, trucks and equipment used in the industrial and aerospace industries.
The renovated facilities include laboratories where technicians can simulate conditions ranging from 100-degree deserts to rainy, humid tropics in order to assess how well PPG’s paints perform.
The expansion also incorporates a completely remodeled and expanded refinish training center for training distributors, painters, and collision repair professionals. Encompassing 9,000 square feet, the training facility includes two classrooms, a new conference and break room, two new downdraft spray booths, an 18-by-30-feet mixing room, a downdraft prep deck and twin 20 horsepower compressors.
Axalta continues to focus on organic growth by building on its strengths in core end markets, which include not only refinish but also light and commercial vehicle OEMs and industrial manufacturers. “At the same time, we will look for attractive opportunities to acquire companies that are a good fit for our business and fill gaps in our existing portfolio,” Matthew Winokur, vice president of Corporate Affairs for Axalta Coating Systems.“Four recent acquisitions illustrate this approach. In the Netherlands we acquired a leading Cromax distributor, Geeraets. In Malaysia, we acquired High Performance Coating, a leading refinish manufacturer and distributor in Southeast Asia. In the US, we acquired Dura Coat, a strong player in the coil coatings segment. We have strong synergies in technology, and Dura Coat is well positioned in that market. Also in the US, we just acquired the thermoplastics interior coatings business of United Paint. This will enable us to expand our offerings to OEM customers who want a single coatings supplier who can cover substrates both inside and outside a vehicle.”
In June Axalta officially opened its newly expanded European Technology Center (ETC) in Wuppertal, Germany. The center will be home to its liquid coating research facilities for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. “We made this considerable investment in our EMEA research and development facilities to expand, to upgrade and to centralize our technological capabilities to support our growth in the region. Over 300 technical professionals will work on creating and developing next generation paints and services to address regional market needs and to meet our customers’ specific requirements,” said Winokur. “The ETC comprises facilities that house the latest coating research equipment. The entire campus encompasses 15,000m2 of laboratories, formulation and application capabilities, a weathering and corrosion service, pilot-scale and full scale-up facilities, customer demonstration center, as well as offices.”
In Mexico, Axalta opened an expanded resin manufacturing facility located at its Tlalnepantla campus outside Mexico City. The investment to expand infrastructure will enable Axalta to support customers with the latest coating technologies that are used in a wide variety of its liquid coatings.
BASF said it will continue to push for profitable growth in all of its businesses with a clear strategy to focus on emerging markets. In April, BASF signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Guangdong Yinfan Chemistry Co., Ltd. in China. The acquisition underlines the company’s strong commitment to growing its automotive coatings business and further investing in emerging markets.
“We will broaden our portfolio and gain access to a strong distribution network, which will strengthen our position in the fast-growing Chinese automotive aftermarket,” said Chris Toomey, senior vice president, Coating Solution NA, BASF. “Furthermore, we will also increase our footprint in the economy segment in Asia Pacific. The closing is expected in the fourth quarter of 2016.”