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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Recognition for innovation in auto coatings
Keywords PPG Industries, Awards, Powder coatings, Automotive industry
PPG Industries was recognised for two significant innovations in automotive coatings as it won a prestigious PACE Award for the world's first commercially successful powder clear coat - the final finish that protects and adds luster to the colour coat on new cars. Awards to eight companies were announced at a recent ceremony held at the Henry Ford Museum.
Pittsburgh-based PPG is reported to be the first coatings maker to capture a PACE Award, and the only one to be a PACE finalist, since the program was established in 1995 by Automotive News magazine and Ernst & Young LLP. The program recognises and encourages supplier excellence in process and product innovation and management, with winners chosen by an independent panel of judges from industry, academia and business.
Full commercial production with Enviracryl powder clear coat at BMW's Dingolfing, Germany, plant followed comprehensive pilot-line operations. More than 300,000 BMW 5- and 7-series autos have been finished with the PPG coating, cited by R&D magazine for its technological significance. PPG Executive Vice-President Kears Pollock said: "We are gratified to receive this important recognition as the auto industry's most innovative coatings supplier, and with our outstanding accomplishment of being a double finalist in the PACE Award competition. For more than a generation we have been at the forefront of strategic innovation of automotive coatings systems, delivering successful new products, processes, services and concepts meeting our customers' requirements for constant quality, efficiency and environmental improvement in manufacturing autos, as well as their customers' product performance expectations."
PPG was also a PACE finalist for the Power-Prime two-bath automotive rust-preventive and primer-surfacer electrocoat process it introduced last year. With two nominations, PPG was the only coatings producer among 21 developers of 24 PACE finalist products and systems.
Enviracryl powder clear coat is said to be environmentally benign, can accelerate production rates and improves finish quality by eliminating blemishes that may occur with liquid coatings, and is also resistant to stone-chipping. According to PPG it is solvent-free, the coating essentially eliminating emissions of volatile organic compounds during electrostatic spray application and baking, as well as hazardous air pollutants and waste; they also point out that over-spray can be reused.
Ongoing development seeks to further enhance performance and reduce cost for automotive powder clear coats. PPG is also working with the Low Emission Paint Consortium's evaluation of powder clear coats for North American automakers.
In the Power-Prime e-coat process for which PPG was also a PACE finalist, each of two coatings is applied by immersing negatively-charged vehicle bodies in positively-charged coatings.
The first bath applies a lead-free corrosion-inhibiting primer. The second applies what is claimed by PPG to be the world's first full-body anti-chip primer-surfacer, eliminating conventional spray coatings.
It reportedly improves coating application uniformity and performance with less cost and environmental effect. Installation and operating costs are said to be significantly lower than for a conventional system.
Application efficiency is also reported to be nearly 100 per cent with virtually no waste, and the two-coat system generates virtually no volatile organic compounds.
Details available from: PPG Industries Inc., Tel: +1 412 434 2445; Website: www.ppg.com