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Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, is presenting its innovative, high performance and sustainable coating technology at the 27th International Conference on Automotive Body Finishing (SURCAR) in Shanghai from April 9-10. The company’s sustainable manufacturing practices seek to provide automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the heavy duty truck industry with technology aimed at contributing to China’s sustainable growth.
Since 1964, SURCAR has been the world’s leading annual congress on automotive body finishing and is held each year in Shanghai and Cannes. The conference brings together an international audience of decision-makers and experts in automotive and other commercial vehicle body painting from more than 20 countries. This year’s theme was ‘Growth Facing Sustainability’ with a focus on new technology trends, the latest developments in painting and coatings, and paint finishing in the context of Asian markets.
Axalta offers a wide spectrum of coating products and systems to OEM customers in China. The company’s waterborne 3-Wet, high solids 3-Wet and Eco-concept primer-less coating systems are each designed to deliver full layer performance with a simplified coating process. Different systems respond to different customer specifications but all share the ability to reduce the number of bake steps. The potential benefits for OEMs include improved productivity, lowered VOC emissions, reduced energy consumption and lower investment costs, while still offering high quality finish on vehicles. Axalta’s ElectroShield-27 E-coat can provide even further efficiencies for OEMs. Its higher throw power is intended to yield cost savings by reducing unit material consumption by 20%, due to reduced film thickness, and result in less energy demand and reduced need for wastewater treatment.
Speaking at SURCAR on the progress of more sustainable automotive coatings, Dr FuCheng Yan, Axalta’s Product and Technology Director for Greater China, explained: "reducing air pollution in China has become a key priority for the entire industry. Axalta fully recognses this goal and strives to provide a range of innovative coating solutions to enable our OEM customers to manufacture in a sustainable manner.”
Axalta’s flagship coating brand for heavy duty trucks, Imron, is applied at more heavy duty truck assembly plants than any other brand. Imron’s 2K polyurethane formulation supports environmental goals because it can be cured at almost half the temperature of the traditional 1K products used in China’s heavy duty truck market. The result is an estimated savings of 50MJ/cab and 56t less fossil oil required for every 50,000 cabs, which also would reduce CO2 emissions by 166t. The Imron family of products also features the latest waterborne technology, providing additional alternatives for Axalta’s heavy duty truck customers to improve their environmental bottom line. Axalta’s innovative Metric Mixing Machine, designed to shorten lead times, reduce waste and inventory, and achieve high colour accuracy, further benefits the heavy-duty truck industry.
Axalta’s Dr Harald Paulussen, Technical Product and Application Engineering Manager for Axalta’s commercial transportation business, explained the company’s approach to the heavy duty truck industry, noting, "challenges facing China have motivated Axalta to provide the heavy duty truck industry with coating solutions that are aimed to deliver improved energy efficiency, higher productivity, reduced costs, and an overall smaller environmental footprint.”
Commenting on Axalta’s global approach to sustainability, Jay Kaiser, Product and Technology Director for Axalta’s Asia Pacific region, said: "Axalta’s portfolio is well positioned to support the increasing demand in both the OEM and the heavy-duty truck sector for products and manufacturing systems that respond to recent regulations in China to reduce pollution. Our pursuit of sustainable coating systems is part of Axalta’s global commercial and R&D strategy as evidenced by our recent announcements on investment in China, Brazil, and Germany to construct new facilities dedicated to waterborne production.”
Axalta is proud of the environmentally responsible attributes of its range of low-VOC and waterborne products, which seek to help reduce the overall environmental footprint of China’s automotive and commercial transportation industry. These waterborne coatings deliver outstanding chemical and corrosion resistance and feature robust application and film properties with excellent appearance.
Axalta is a high-technology coatings company backed by more than 146 years of product innovation. This institutional knowledge has helped Axalta maintain a leadership role in developing innovative coating systems. In China, Axalta recently broke ground for a new waterborne facility in Shanghai, has a plant in Changchun and a second Shanghai facility, five powder coating facilities operated in collaboration with joint venture partners, a R&D Global Color Lab and Asia Pacific Innovation Center in Shanghai and a new Asia Pacific head office, also in Shanghai. Globally, Axalta does business in 130 countries with a worldwide network consisting of some 120,000 customers, 35 manufacturing facilities, 42 refinish training centres and seven R&D centres.