Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. Companies are remaking themselves in light of a changing industry. Partnership and customer relations are on the increase, a very good sign for paint and coatings. Here's the news since Tuesday.
DuPont announced the expansion of the DuPont Automotive Center in Nagoya and renamed it the DuPont Japan Innovation Center. The expansion and renaming reflects the substantially broader capability of the center to include other industries with remaining focus on the automotive industry. The center in Nagoya has been serving customers in the automotive industry since 2005.
With the broadened approach, it is hoped that the DuPont Japan Innovation Center will create opportunity and space to display industry specific innovations, latest technology offerings and industry trends to stimulate customer dialogues. By working with local partners and connecting them through real-time video technology with the company's global network of 9,500 scientists, chemists and engineers working in over 150 research and development centers around the world, the center will create a rich exchange of new ideas and an inclusive atmosphere that will lead to faster innovative solutions.
Elsewhere in the DuPont organization, refinish announced that it will discontinue the use of leaded pigments in all of its refinish paint products by the end of 2012. All passenger car formulas have already been converted while all remaining commercial vehicle lead-containing topcoats - Centari MasterTint and Imron PowerTint ranges - are in the process of being phased out and converted to lead-free formulas, so that body shops will immediately have access to alternatives.
Linda Van Calster, DuPont Refinish Marketing Communications Manager EMEA, says, "whilst the use of leaded pigments was discontinued in the OEM arena a number of years ago, customer demand and the perceived benefits of lead pigments in the industrial and refinish segments has meant supply has continued.
In the UK, Business Secretary Vince Cable this week opened the Biorenewables Development Center (BDC) at the University of York on 5 July, 2012. The BDC integrates modern genetics with green chemistry and processing techniques to create renewable chemicals and materials. It will support industry in developing manufacturing technologies that use plants, microbes and bio-wastes as the raw materials for high value products.
The open-access facilities are said to bridge the gap between the laboratory and industry, providing companies and academia with a way to test, develop and scale up bio-refining processes. The unique feature of the BDC is that it can also use molecular breeding to rapidly improve plants and microbes as raw materials for these processes. This creates the potential to source high value chemicals from plants by developing novel crops or improving those already in use.
In cash-strapped times, fashion conscious women must resort to ever more creative measures in order to continue looking their best. Red paint samples have become hard to come by in home centers around the world as ladies paint the soles of their shoes to mimic the soles of high-buck shoe designer Christian Louboutin.
The French shoemaker, whose signature is the bright Pantone-18 Chinese Red paint emblazoned on the sole of his every creation, is a favorite among "celebrities" like Victoria Beckham and the Kardashians. The designer originally added the red sole at the last minute during a fashion show when he decided his shoes needed more 'energy', and painted them with an assistant's nail polish.
Louboutin is very fond of his red-soled trademark and sued Spanish brand Zara in 2008, claiming that an open- toed red-soled shoe the shop was selling for about $100 was similar to his $1800 a pair Yo Yo style. A French court ruled Zara's "cut-price" shoe could not be confused with that made by the high-end designer, and last month the Cour de Cassation - the final court of appeal - upheld the decision.
Last year Louboutin accused designer Yves Saint Laurent of copying his celebrated red-soled footwear when he used a similar theme in his 2011 resort collection. That lawsuit resulted in a high-court appeal case in the US, the verdict of which is yet to be decided.
In marketing news, have you always wanted to name a paint color? I know I haven't, but your mileage may vary. PPG's Pittsburgh Paints brand is giving people the chance to do just that with the kickoff of the "I Named a Paint Color" promotion. The promotion coincides with the launch of a redesigned website for The Voice of Color program, which features a technological enhancement of The Voice of Color program's integrated, comprehensive color design system.
Beginning July 9, the "I Named a Paint Color" promotion affords site visitors the opportunity to name 150 new colors in the PPG Pittsburgh Paints line. Featured on the Web site as well as The Voice of Color program pages on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, visitors will have a chance to submit a new name for five color swatches per day for 30 days. New color names will be selected from the entries based on originality and inspiration, with winning entries posted on the new website and later used on the new color palette. Tying to The Voice of Color program - the color platform for PPG Pittsburgh Paints products, based on the premise that every color has an emotional, meaningful association - the "I Named a Paint Color" promotion encourages visitors to post photos of objects, places, people and more that inspired their paint color names.
"We find that people have an interest in naming their own paint colors, drawing from inspirations in the everyday world around them - their emotions, families, vacations - so we are excited to extend the opportunity to our website visitors to demonstrate what inspires them," said Dee Schlotter, brand manager, The Voice of Color program of the PPG Pittsburgh Paints brand. "Whether it's the shades of a favorite flower or the colors of a child's soccer uniform, we want to know what is important to our visitors and provide them the opportunity to have a voice in the color selection process.
"Color names can come from the most unusual sources," Schlotter added. "For example, our most popular interior color - PPG Pony Tail - was inspired by the color of a PPG employee's daughter's pony tail as well as her love for horses."
In news from Southeast Asia, TOA-Chugoku Paints plans to establish a presence in Myanmar and Cambodia in tandem with building a new plant in Thailand in order to capitalize on growing demand in Southeast Asia.
The joint venture between Thailand's largest paint producer and Chugoku, Japan's No.1 maker of marine paint will open a warehouse in Yangon by the end of next year before setting up a plant there in the next stage.
Managing Director Pisit Boonchanya said the moves are in response to Myanmar's opening up of its economy, as well as regional integration under the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. "A number of Japanese investors now are vying to enter Myanmar including Nippon Steel, Japan's largest steelmaker, while Aung San Suu Kyi is going to visit Japan later this year," he said.
He said TOA's expansion into the neighboring country is also aimed at serving Italian-Thai Development's planned Dawei deep-seaport and special economic zone on Myanmar's eastern coast, which includes a refinery, as well as power and industrial plants.
The company also intends to open an office and distribution centre in Phnom Penh.
Chugoku Paint, part of the Mitsubishi Group, operates in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in Asean.
This leaves Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia under the responsibility of its joint venture in Thailand, which was established in 1989.
So far, 1 billion baht has been spent in Thailand including a plant in Wellgrow Industrial Estate.
Next year, the company will spend 60 million baht to lift monthly production capacity to 1,900 tons from 1,500 tons now. Within five years, TOA-Chugoku targets spending another 100 million baht to construct a new building at the existing site next to a new, 200-million-baht warehouse that will open next week, said Mr Pisit.
The venture projects revenue will grow by 15% to 1.7 billion baht this year.
In news from Africa, despite the slow pace for the East African Community integration, businesses have started witnessing some benefits especially in terms of a widening regional market. Basco, a Kenya-based paint company has noted that as it increases its capacity of production there is a growing market for paint in the East African region.
Launching Duracoat brand in 4000 color shades in Kampala this week, the Basco paint managing director Kamlesh Shah says the increasing construction and real estate industry figures in Uganda and other neighboring countries provides an opportunity for the company to
export its products.
Shah says since 30 % of the company's products are exported, the launch of the Duracoat paint in Uganda and the company's full-fledged Depot in Uganda will now take care of the Rwanda, Southern Sudanese and other regional markets.
Shah said the company is working on increasing its production capacity from 22 million liters of paint to 54 million liters. He said that the new plant will be ready for production by the end of this year to effectively serve the increasing demand for paint.
On the next topic, you have to admit, as an auto manufacturer, Hyundai has a lot of courage. They are going after markets with new features, including matte finish paint on their new Veloster Turbo. It comes with 3 manuals - one for the car, one for the GPS/media system and one for the paint.
The new manual is only for buyers of the new Veloster Turbo three-door coupe if they order the new matte finish. Basically, the car's finish is like flat wall paint. There's a little bit of a glisten, but it's not the kind of look you would ever want to polish. No matter how hard you try, it won't take a deep shine -- and you'll mess it up in the process.
So Hyundai has printed up an 11-page manual, including an agreement that the customer has to sign in which they acknowledge they are buying a car that has a paint job requiring special treatment.
Like, for instance, you can't take it through an automatic car wash. The manual also warns buyers not to "use wax, detail spray, Armor All, or any products made for normal paint. Use only products specifically developed for matte finish paint." No polishes, cloth or paper towels. Pressure washing is best, but for quick jobs, you can employ only a soft mitt with window cleaner, as long as it doesn't contain ammonia or vinegar.
"Matte finishes are different from other automotive paints. Typical gloss paints use a clear-coat finish that reflects light and gives a shiny appearance. A matte finish uses a different coating that diffuses light, providing its unique 'flat' finish," the manual explains.
You know, there's a reason why matte finishes haven't exactly caught on outside of the customized car or under $250K crowd.
Finally, in an update of a story we ran 3 months ago, contamination could be lurking at the old Cadillac Paint site in Ashland, Massachusetts, USA, the federal official overseeing study at the site said yesterday.
"I think that there's definitely a potential for contamination there," said Jim Byrne, Project Officer for the Environmental Protection Agency.
So far, EPA engineers have only studied historical documents about the location, a former paint and varnish factory. Judging by a quick walk-through, Byrne said workers could likely find contamination when they begin the second phase of the study.
"I think that it's going to be interesting to see what we find," Byrne said.
The town this year received a $75,000 grant from the EPA to evaluate the property, which is classified as a brownfield.
Neighbors have pleaded for the buildings to be torn down, and officials say the out-of-state owner owes more than $500,000 in back taxes and fees.
Byrne said it is likely some chemicals from the former paint factory are in the building or the soil.
During the second phase of the study, scheduled to begin in August, engineers will look for asbestos, lead paint, transformers, buckets, barrels or any other signs of contamination, Byrne said.
If more money is left from the $75K, they could start testing the soil and groundwater monitoring wells, he said.
I'm biting my lip here, and will not lower myself to sarcasm, but you probably know what I'm thinking about the EPA.
In other news, Sawgrass Technologies Consumer Division offers the ChromaBlast-R cotton transfer ink system for the Ricoh SG 3110DN. ChromaBlast-R is a specially formulated cotton transfer ink for the Ricoh platform that produces brilliant, high-resolution color quickly and efficiently. Paired with high-quality transfer media, ChromaBlast-R produces vibrant, permanent images...
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The automotive colors of the future will be "naturally cultivated". Nuanced berry and copper tones will enhance the automotive color portfolio of tomorrow, along with the natural colors brown, blue and green, which will experience a rediscovery. While in recent years green has hardly played a role on the roads, in four to five years, the color is predicted to become more popular...
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EV Group and Brisbane Materials Technology announced that they are collaborating to provide a total solution for anti-reflective (AR) coatings for the PV market. Under a strategic cooperation agreement, EVG has optimized its large-area coating systems for BMT's unique materials and processes, enabling high-yield fabrication of AR coatings with industry-leading performance and cost...
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And finally, Paul Nowatzki, Ph.D., Senior Associate Scientist and Innovation Manager at Bayer MaterialScience will give a Presentation entitled, "Polymer Company Perspective on Biobased Chemicals: Opportunities and Challenges" at the 3rd Biobased Chemicals: Commercialization & Partnering Conference on September 13-14, 2012 in San Francisco, CA...
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