PUBLIC COMPANY; YEAR ESTABLISHED: 1865
REVENUE: $4.3 billion t (2017: $4.6 billion)
Automotive OEM; Automotive refinish; Commercial vehicles; Industrial coatings
Dirk Bremm, president BASF Group`s Coatings division; Thomas Kloster, Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions Europe; Katja Scharpwinkel, Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions Europe; Chris Toomey, Coatings Solutions North America; Marcos Allemann, business management Decorative Paints Solutions South America; Patrick Zhao, Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific; and Martin Jung, Surface Treatment.
BASF Coatings is a division of BASF SE. BASF’s Coatings division is a global expert in the development, production and marketing of innovative and sustainable automotive OEM and refinish coatings, decorative paints as well as applied surface treatments for metal, plastic and glass substrates in a wide range of industries. BASF shares skills, knowledge and resources of interdisciplinary and global teams for the benefit of customers by operating a collaborative network of sites in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific. In 2018, the Coatings division achieved global sales of about €3.86 billion. Europe represents 38 percent of total sales, Asia Pacific 26 percent, North America 22 percent and South America, Africa and the Middle East 14 percent.
With AUROOM, BASF’s Coatings division introduced a digital platform which enables OEM designers to access a database of photo-realistic virtual car colors. BASF’s virtual colors capture all facets of automotive coatings including lightness flop, color flop and sparkling. By mapping these colors on car models, OEM designers can virtually paint every color proposal and gain realistic impressions of colors and effects on a complete car already in an early design phase. AUROOM will be a valuable tool for OEM designers to speed up and perfect the overall color design process as they are no longer solely dependent on physical samples that need to be painted and shipped. In the startup phase, BASF’s virtual color solution will first be introduced to OEMs in EMEA.
BASF is enhancing its regional innovation capabilities with new facilities at the Innovation Campus Shanghai, to further strengthen collaboration with the automotive industry and to offer new process catalysts to the chemical industry. With an investment of approximately €34 million, the new 5,000-square-meter facilities include the Automotive Application Center and the Process Catalysis Research & Development (R&D) Center.
At the inauguration, the company also presented a range of locally-developed innovations which support customers in industries like automotive, construction and consumer goods, and which address important market trends to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and enhance performance. BASF launched an innovative waterborne coating system on the same occasion.
“China’s most important growth industries can benefit enormously from innovations in chemistry. Thanks to continuous investment in research and development over the past several years, we are able to support our customers in China and the entire Asia Pacific region as they strive to improve consumers’ quality of life, address challenges of rapid development and meet their sustainability goals,” said Dr. Stephan Kothrade, president Functions Asia Pacific, president and chairman Greater China, BASF.
Equipped with a spray booth for electrostatic applications, a physical testing lab and a 3D robot, the BASF Automotive Application Center, Asia Pacific is designed to enable customer-oriented R&D activities. The 3D robot can simulate nearly any situation on a paint line, anywhere in the world; enabling the new center to optimize application processes and products. It can apply the automotive coatings not only on horizontal and vertical surfaces, but also on three-dimensional objects such as car doors and bumpers. The robot allows BASF to develop new products for customers in the automotive industry. It provides design solutions for automotive products as well as potential new trends and developments in the automotive coatings industry. The expanded capacities also feature laboratories for sustainable painting applications.
Located at the same premises, the new Process Catalysis R&D Center will focus on the development of new process catalysts to meet the specific needs of BASF customers in Asia Pacific.
The center hosts highly specialized testing units for evaluating solid catalyst performance, and state-of-the-art facilities for solids processing. Scientists will develop new catalytic materials for both new and existing process catalysis applications. Solid processes such as solid formation, separation, formulation, thin film coating, drying and solid handling will be designed and optimized at the facility. The new R&D center will also scale up tailor-made process catalysts and adsorbents for the regional catalyst market, adding additional value through close cooperation and proximity to BASF’s customers and partners in Asia Pacific. It will complement BASF’s world-scale process catalyst manufacturing site, located in Caojing, Shanghai.
Solutions address sustainability challenges
For the first time, BASF presented a range of innovations developed locally at the Innovation Campus Shanghai. From new polymer dispersions to sustainable paints, BASF helps drive innovations that support sustainability and enhance quality of life.
• ColorEco is a novel waterborne Monocoat and waterborne integrated paint system. The solution is first applied on light commercial vehicles from JAC, a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer based in Anhui Province, China. It helps automotive manufacturers meet strict regulations for emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), especially in the light commercial vehicle and compact multi- purpose vehicle segments. The conventional system requires four coating layers. With the Integrated Process 2 for metallic colors, the first layer primer is integrated into the basecoat with better functionality. With Monocoat, it is even possible to integrate three steps into one – saving time, energy, and materials.
A new polymer dispersion Styrofan PLUS 7552 has been developed enhancing the performance of waterproofing membranes that are used in harsh or wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and swimming pools. The mechanical strength and resistance to detergents have been improved, to enable a longer service life. Styrofan PLUS 7552 also has an environmentally friendly profile: it is APEO Free and offers lower emissions.
BASF’s global supercomputer, “Quriosity”, has enabled new customized color care formulations in laundry applications. New detergent formulations are designed by Quriosity at an accelerated pace. Customized formulations reduce problems with color bleeding and dye transfer, meeting requirements of the next product generation for convenience-driven customers.
• Innovative engine covers offer quiet and comfort for vehicles. Polyurethane (PU) integral foam solutions with an open cell structure offer unique performance as they are light-weight, with excellent sound insulation and flame resistance. Elastofoam PU solutions helps to make vehicles quieter and provide riders with a better experience inside the cabin.
Key Happenings in 2019
• BASF named a General Motors Supplier of the Year for 13th time
• BASF’s coatings solutions help NIO shape new generation of smart electric cars in China
• BASF invests in a state-of-the-art surface treatment site for its Chemetall brand in Pinghu, China
• BASF opens modular lab for automotive OEM coatings at its Münster site
• BASF introduces AUROOM, a platform for the digital visualization of automotive exterior colors
• Ten years of the Color Design Studio at BASF’s Münster site: Creative center for automotive colors of the future celebrates anniversary
• BASF and TGPM set new industry benchmark with premium Automotive Refinish Competence Center in Foshan, China
• BASF supports next generation of automotive refinishers at the global WorldSkills competition.