Officiating at the ceremony for the 15,500 square meter center in the Minhong Industrial Development Zone, Shanghai are Charlie Shaver, Axalta Chairman and CEO and other Axalta executives, Zhang Guokun, Deputy Governor of Minhong District, Xue Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Real Estate Group, and Feng Xiaoming, General Manager and Executive Director of the Minhong Group, the company that has jointly invested with Axalta to construct the facility.
Scheduled to be operational in third-quarter 2016, the regional technology center will be equipped to undertake fundamental research and develop new coating applications, including the latest generation paint formulations, colors, resin development, dispersion technology, spray application and analytic evaluation of paint performance. The center will have technical support capabilities to serve light vehicle OEM, commercial vehicle and refinish customers as well as those in the industrial and architectural sectors. With a workforce capacity of up to 500 employees, the center is poised to support all Axalta businesses with high quality paints, lean processes, and sustainable applications.
“Our goal is to provide coatings that increase durability, enhance customer productivity and, of course, add color,” explained Shaver. “Axalta’s coatings enable the materials they protect to last longer. Our application systems are designed to help our customers be more productive by saving time and energy when applying our products. The combined benefits also support long term environmental goals by protecting and conserving resources. I sincerely thank the Minhong District Government, the Minhong Group, the Shanghai Real Estate Group, and the Minhong Economic Development Zone for their cooperation and their shared vision of our building as a hub for innovation in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region.”
“We aim to support Minhong District to be the innovation hub in southern Shanghai and even to be in the forefront of China’s technological research and development. We are excited with the commitment Axalta has for this new Asia Pacific Technology Center as its vision aligns with what we plan to do. Axalta is an admired company with sustainability values and cutting-edge coating technology. We are proud to be a partner of Axalta and we eagerly look forward to the center opening next year,” said Mr. Feng.
The technology center will be part of Axalta’s global network of global innovation centers in North America, Europe and Latin America. The facility will house Axalta’s Refinish Color Development Center, a new Refinish Training Center for customers, and extensive laboratories.
Dr. Barry Snyder, Axalta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer said, “As part of Axalta’s global network of technology centers, the APTC will combine our global expertise and next-generation tools with local talent and market knowledge of China and the larger Asia Pacific region to provide customers with innovative coating solutions and applications.”
At present, Axalta has technology development capabilities in Shanghai and at the company’s operations center in Changchun as well as four refinish training centers in China and a new OEM technology development center adjacent to its Jiading manufacturing complex.
Axalta has conducted business in China since 1984. In addition to the recently expanded Jiading waterborne coatings facility, Axalta operates a plant in Changchun and six powder coating facilities in collaboration with its joint venture partner. Axalta has also located its Asia Pacific Regional Headquarters in Shanghai.