Powder gaining momentum
The global coatings manufacturer with its headquarters in Pittsburgh, United States operates in more than 70 countries and the investment is part of its efforts to expand the powder coatings offerings and meet the increasing global demand for this particular segment.
The investment includes over EUR 27 million for U.S. plants and almost EUR 13 million for facilities in Latin America. Enhancements and expansions are already completed or under way at five powder production facilities in Brazil, Indiana, Gainesville, Texas; Greensboro, North Carolina; San Juan del Rio, Mexico; and Sumaré, Brazil. The investment aims to enhance capacity by adding production capabilities for bonded metallic powders, improve processing times with automated packaging, and enable the production of various batch sizes. PPG plans to complete these projects by the fourth quarter of this year. Since 2019, PPG has focused on expanding its powder coatings capacity and capabilities through strategic acquisitions and facility expansions worldwide. So far, the corporation has 21 powder manufacturing plants globally. The European Coatings Journal previously reported on the acquisition of Italy-based Arsonsisi (2022) and Germany-based Wörwag (2021). According to Marizeth Carvalho, Global Business Director, Powder and General Manager, Latin
America South, the adoption of powder coatings is driven by the interest in sustainable solutions. Carvalho explains: “Due to the demand for more sustainably advantaged products, we see the powder industry growing more than other coatings technologies. It will continue to grow as more industries adopt the technology. In addition, we see emerging powder growth in Mexico as many global OEMs have plans to expand in that region.”
PPG supplies powder coatings to industries such as automotive, general industrial, appliance, and furniture. According to Carvalho, the investments will serve regional and global clients although it is currently focussing on the Americas. Carvalho points out: “Additionally, a new powder research and development centre has been opened in Milan, Italy. This new addition to the region supports product development, customer service and product launches.”
From West to East
Powder coatings is not the only segment the coatings manufacturer is focusing on. Elsewhere, PPG announced a cooperation with Chery Automobile in China. Both companies partnered up to open a colour creation lab. The facility is located in Wuhu, China, and the company’s colour stylists and Chery designers will work together on colour digitisation, analysis and evaluation of interior and exterior automotive parts. The U.S.-based corporation initiated the supply of coatings for Chery’s paint lines in 2003. To further support Chery and other manufacturers in China, they established an automotive coatings plant in Wuhu in 2008.
Complementing its activities in China, PPG has also inaugurated a battery pack application center (BPAC) in Tianjin. The facility, which required over EUR 27 million in investments, is equipped with a comprehensive range of capabilities to conduct testing on the application, materials, and systems specifically designed for electric vehicle (EV) battery packs. This enables customers to expedite their development and implementation processes of new EV technologies.