19 November 2015 16:32:00 | Posted by: Vanessa Bauersachs, European Coatings Journal Seeing and being seen
The lack of skilled labour is not only an omnipresent notion in the coatings industry but a relevant fear, especially for SMEs. With great interest, I read Gian Nauli’s report describing how the Swiss coatings federation (VSLF) tries to dissolve this problem.
I recently read an article by an experienced coatings expert in which he described his vision for the lab of the future. This seems to be an issue that is attracting the close attentions of the international coatings industry. Science fiction? More likely fictional (coatings) science (labs).
Self-healing materials are no brand new invention, they’ve been in the media for quite some time. Nevertheless, my curiosity was aroused when I found a number of news on self-healing materials on our websites recently. Coincidence or not?
Currently, we are working on a preview magazine for the American Coatings SHOW in April 2016 and have been gathering interviews on the latest trends in different fields of the industry. When asked about the main challenges in bio-based coatings, one of our interviewees, Scott Cooley (Reichhold) states that one of the greatest problems is that end users often have the misconception that bio-based entails more expenses and less performance – a statement I found quite interesting.
Growth rates in emerging economies are not as miraculous as they used to be. Nothing new, it’s all over town. Almost all BRIC countries are struggling. Lately, even China made it on that list. This week two stories came as blow, which more or less are linked to these developments. Henkel cuts 1,200 jobs in its adhesives business and DuPont’s CEO Ellen Kullman retires.
VW rigged the exhaust emissions. It’s all over the media. The company’s shares are in freefall, the chairman had to resign and there are reports of possible lawsuits in the billions. But what does all this fuss mean for the coatings industry? I don’t believe it will suffer all that much.
I haven’t heard anything significant on nanotechnology lately. Neither in the news nor in publications. Probably because there have been so many other topics to be discussed. Remember the times when TV programs or consumer magazines reported on nanoparticles in suntan lotion or cosmetics? We learned that due to negative public opinion towards nanotechnology, companies stopped or reduced research and development in this area, or changed obvious brand names, thereby omitting the word "nano”.
Recently I prepared a conference program dealing with the topic "additives for modern coatings”. I talked to different experts from additive producing companies. Some told me that multi-functional additives are a clear trend, others reported that their customers don´t want these kind of additives. Those customers rather want freedom and flexibility.
I had to smile a little when I read the latest news on automotive colour trends from BASF: "blue colours are gaining ground” was one of the key messages. My car – a VW Golf IV – was built in 2002 and is (you may already guess) blue. A very nice blue.