Industrial coatings: “Globalisation requires fast responses”
From your perspective, what are the overall trends in industrial coatings?
Claire Reynier: We are seeing increasing demand for performance, efficiency as well as sustainability. Innovation is key to bringing differentiation into the market. Bio-based, environment-friendliness, greater durability, ease of handling and product versatility products are the main areas for research and development. There is a trend towards smart coatings, especially in the construction sector, where energy efficiency and healthy building are the challenges for tomorrow. Another main impact on the industrial market is the trend towards globalisation, which requires fast responses in the supply chain, local adaptation of formulations as well as compliance with regulatory constraints.
How would you describe the European industrial coatings market?
Arkema Coating Resins
Reynier: The European Industrial coatings market is the second-largest after the Asia-Pacific one. The general industry segment, mainly based on metal coatings, is the most important, followed by construction and infrastructures. Transportation business is slowly recovering after a period of recession. Demand is picking up again, especially in eastern and central Europe, as a result of economic growth and urbanisation. Given the current volatility in raw materials prices, durability and efficiency are clearly the key issues for the coatings industry today.
Do you see a general preference for a specific type of low-VOC technology in industrial coatings?
Reynier: Environmental regulations are becoming increasingly stringent throughout the world and more users are looking for alternative chemistries or processes. We are seeing a shift in demand towards higher-solids, water-borne and low-or-no-VOC products. Al-though solvent-borne coatings still account for the majority of sales, demand for powder and water-borne coatings have been growing faster in the past few years.
Interview by Jan Gesthuizen.