One of the most frequently asked questions at the start of a new year has to be: "What resolutions have you made for the new year?” The answers often revolve around sport, diet or less stress.European Coatings Journal asked 20 European coatings manufacturers where they see the greatest opportunities or challenges in 2017. As the previous years, 2017 is once again labeled as a year of uncertainity. Raw material prices and changes to legislation are an issue for many in 2017, but other factors may also pose a challenge to coating and paint manufacturers.
Every year, Christmas approaches faster. To my mind, the same could be said for the European Coatings Show. To me the last ECS 2015 feels just a couple of months ago but already it is time to prepare for the next one. Recently, we have published our preview magazine for the upcoming show in April 2017. In addition to information on the show and conference, the magazine contains a multitude of trends interviews. Browsing the interviews, it is quite clear: Low-VOC and water-borne coatings remain absolute focus topics.
"Not again!” is probably what some of you are thinking. The proportion of women in the coatings industry is low and I’m wondering whether it should stay that way or whether the paint industry wouldn’t be better off actively doing something about it. You see, according to Credit Suisse's most recent study, the more women who are involved in decision-making, the better a company performs. On top of this, there is the ever-threatening shortage of skilled workers. Yes, while there may be a desire within the industry to hire more women and to place them in senior positions, unfortunately the reality is somewhat different. However, that can be changed.
Are you on the cusp of retirement or do you have more than a decade to work in the coatings industry? If you belong to the first group, then read no further. As for everyone else, I would like to ask you if your job is safe and secure or will it soon be done by a computer?
Recently I’ve come across an article that focused on the future of plastering. It is said that innovative new construction design has been realised primariliy with glass, brick or steel lately, while the traditional and proven material plastering lags behind and is basically used in existing buildings.
Two weeks ago at the CEPE Annual Conference, one of the topics in addition to sustainability once again concerned digitization and the Internet of Things. On the whole, all very exciting, but how does the coatings industry stand on the subject of digitization? And how might digitization be implemented? I decided to investigate further.
Whenever innovations are discussed in the coatings industry, it’s striking how often the talk centres on how we can comply with new regulations: replace chromium (VI) here, reduce VOCs there, eliminate isocyanates everywhere. Yes, these are all important, but am I the only one missing something?
Solar cells out of the printer? Recently, I stumbled about a interesting blog by drupa, the printing ink equipment exhibition, describing research projects on printing solar cells. Janne Halme and his team from Aalto University and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, for instance, have managed to develop a simple printing process which allows to print pictures that are able to generate power. Merely an image file is needed to print solar cells in any pattern on any material, including paper.
At the moment, the IAA Commercial Vehicles, the world’s most important trade show for transport, logistics and mobility, is taking place in my hometown Hanover. Years ago, I visited the show and was impressed by enormous cranes that wouldn’t fit in any exhibition hall.