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Posted March 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.–OSHA’s 30-day grace period for the Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard is over, and the agency is now fully enforcing the rule. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Galassi released a memorandum that outlines interim enforcement guidelines that took effect. The guidelines do not cover all of the provisions, but will act as the standard’s companion compliance directive as the rule proceeds through the review process. The final silica rule amended silica exposure regulations for the first time since 1971, reducing the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift.

Posted March 20, 2018

ROSSDALE, Alta.–An Edmonton, Alberta, man has died due to exposure to walnut blasting materials used to remove old paint from a fire station, leading to a call for regulating such products. Justin Matthews went to the Rossdale Fire Station in early October to inspect the air quality as part of his job. A company had recently been working inside to blast old lead paint off the walls as part of a renovation. Matthews was inside the building for 20 minutes before he began to experience difficulty breathing. He walked outside and collapsed shortly after, going into anaphylactic shock due to a possible nut allergy.

In light of his passing, Matthews’ family is calling for regulation of walnut blasting materials, including signage at sites where the media is used. The use of walnut shell products is on the rise as a safer and more sustainable blasting media, in lieu of more hazardous abrasives such as silica sand. Walnut shells are used in blasting for the removal of graffiti and smoothing a roughened surface. It can also be used to remove baked-on deposits from ferrous metals like iron and steel.

The CBC confirmed that an investigation by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is investigating Matthews’ death. The inquiry must be completed within two years.

Posted March 19, 2018

PITTSBURGH, Pa.–PPG Industrial Coatings has announced that its industrial coatings are available for use on National Hockey League (NHL) goal posts. Envirocon Extreme Protection coatings can be used to protect the equipment from scuffs and chips in the cold environment of ice hockey. Benefits of the product include application transfer efficiency, consistent film, a wide application window, improved chip mitigation, color matching capabilities, and impact resistance in temperatures as low as -30°F. PPG announced an exclusive paint partnership with the NHL earlier this year.

Posted March 13, 2018

CLEVELAND, Ohio–The Protective and Marine Coatings sector of The Sherwin-Williams Co. has introduced a new high-solids coating designed for use on structural steel. Zinc Clad 4100 features recoat times as short as 30 minutes, which allows for enhanced project schedules and turnarounds. Designed for use over prepared blasted steel, the product provides cathodic protection to reduce corrosion potential.

Posted March 12, 2018

MILWAUKEE, Wisc.–Hentzen Coatings Inc., a leader in aerospace, military, and general industrial protective coatings, has patented its new SR (Star Resistant) Wrinkle powder coating. SR Wrinkle is a powder coating that is highly resistant to starring, which typically occurs during the coating application process and results in increased costs associated with product manufacturing downtime, diminished appearance, and decreased durability.

The product has a patented coating technology that makes the end product less susceptible to minor amounts of contaminants while tolerating a wider range of pretreatment quality. The coating provides a more uniform wrinkle finish regardless of the part mass or differences in substrate thickness. It can also be custom formulated with standard and super-durable weathering performance based on client needs.

Posted March 9, 2018

CONROE, Tex.–Global coatings manufacturer Hempel has launched Hempadur Avantguard 860, an activated zinc primer that protects against corrosion at the level of an inorganic zinc silicate, with the application benefits of an epoxy. Avantguard 860 is specifically formulated for the protection of steel structures in highly corrosive environments. The coating has a recoat interval time of one hour, and can be applied in temperatures as low as 14°F with no restrictions in regard to relative humidity. A three-coat system using the new primer can be applied in a single shift, with no need for a mist coat.

Posted March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) has presented several industry awards, recognizing volunteer leaders whose service, commitment, and contribution has advanced both the association and the industry.

Michael Kelley, Asko Processing Group, received the Presidential Award, which focuses on the extraordinary service put forth by an NASF member who is actively participating on the national level, going above and beyond the capacity of most. Rick Delawder, SWD, received the Silvio Taormina Memorial Award, which is given to an individual who has performed outstanding service to the finishing industry over the years. Waasy Boddison, American Plating Power, received the August P. Munning Award, which recognizes a member who has significantly contributed to the future well-being of the NASF/AESF and who exemplifies Munning’s traits. Dr. Per Møller, Technical University Of Denmark, was honored with the Scientific Achievement Award, given to persons who have contributed to the advancement of the theory and practice of electroplating, metal finishing, and the allied arts.

In addition, Awards Of Merit were given to Betty Lou Mueller, Florida Finishers Corp.; Frank Dunigan, A Brite Co.; and Nancy Zapata, Control Electropolishing. Awards of Merit are given to members of the industry who show meritorious service and achievement on both the local and national levels.

The NASF Fellow award recognizes outstanding service, contribution, and longstanding commitment to the NASF/AESF for the advancement of the best interest of the surface finishing industry. Receiving the award this year are: Ling Hao, Lacks Enterprises; Yinlun Huang, Wayne State University; David Marsh, Marsh Plating Corp.; J. Kelly Mowry, Gull Industries; Dr. Alan Rose, Corrdesa LLC; Donald Snyder, retired; Jerry Wahlin, AAA Plating & Inspection; and Joelie Zak, Scientific Control Labs Inc.

Posted March 7, 2018

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.–FANUC America Corp. has introduced four new national training certifications for robotics and advanced automation manufacturing. The certifications are the first-ever for robot operations, programming, and integrated vision.

The industry-education certifications are the result of an 18-month collaboration of more than 150 subject matter experts from FANUC America, industry, automation system integrators, and leading advisors and instructors from high schools, community colleges, and universities. Participants focused on the need to prepare a talent pipeline of workers who possess the core competencies and automation technology skills to work in high-tech manufacturing.

Since 2010, FANUC has lead the effort to address the critical challenge caused by a shortage of skilled workers, and helped change the perceptions of careers in manufacturing. The new industry-leading certifications provide students and companies with measurable skill sets aligned with today’s advanced automation technologies, increasing workforce readiness at all levels.

The new national certification classes will be taught at secondary and post-secondary schools and training institutions offering the FANUC CERT (Certified Education Training) program. Currently, there are over 640 education providers offering the CERT program, which represents the largest network of schools providing hands-on applied technology in manufacturing automation.

FANUC America, together with Nocti Business Solutions (NBS), developed the four industry-recognized national certification programs, which include two levels of FANUC Certified Robot Operator (FCR-O1 & FRC-O2) and two levels of FANUC Certified Technician (FCR-T1 & FCR-T2). FANUC America provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation. NBS serves the needs of business and industry in high-stakes occupational competency testing services as a job skills assessment company.

Posted March 5, 2018

HERZLIYA, Israel–SolCold, an Israel-based startup firm, has announced it has developed a coating that keeps roofs cool with the help of an unexpected source: the sun. The product’s basic principles involve laser cooling and applying that idea to the spectrum of sunlight.

Unlike other coatings used to try to cool buildings and road surfaces, SolCold’s paint can actively cool, rather than simply reducing the heat absorbed by these surfaces. On simulations of buildings that might use the paint, the top floors were cooled up to 50°F. These principles fall under the umbrella of laser cooling, which involves hitting specially designed materials with a laser, cooling them by up to 302°F. This process works due to these materials absorbing photons of light that are at one frequency, while reemitting higher-frequency photons more spontaneously. This results in the loss of energy, and therefore a lowering in temperature.

Instead of using a laser, SolCold reworked the coating to use sunlight instead. Unlike a laser, however, the sun’s spectrum is wide, so SolCold had to engineer a coating that could use scattered light. What resulted was a two-layered paint: an outer element that filters out some of the sun’s rays, while the inner converts heat to light, which results in coolness below the ambient temperature.

Lab testing has been successful thus far, demonstrating that the coating is more effective on metal roofs than concrete, especially over rooms with low ceilings. The long-term impact would be something of a trickle-down effect. There is also hope that SolCold’s coating could be used in space to ward off heat that results from the lack of air. The coating could also disperse heat away, making it a more practical solution than fabrics and heat exchangers.

Posted March 2, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.–Less than two weeks after a potential deal between Axalta Coating Systems and Nippon Paint Holdings Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan, was first broached, talks ended with no agreement. Nippon’s attempt to acquire Axalta was part of a move to expand into sales for automotive manufacturers as well as increase its US footprint.

In its talks with Axalta back in November, Nippon made an all-cash bid that totaled $9.1 billion. Axalta noted that it would pursue such a transaction only if its Board of Directors determines that it is in the best interest of Axalta to do so.

The failed talks came on the heels of AkzoNobel’s recent bid to acquire the company, which also fell through. They had entered in a discussion of a merger of equals, but ultimately were unable to reach mutually agreeable terms.

Axalta stated that it will continue to pursue other value-creating alternatives. Axalta is a global leader in the coatings industry, providing customers with innovative, colorful, and sustainable coatings solutions.

Posted March 1, 2018

CHICAGO, Ill.–With more than 750,000 square feet of exhibit space, FABTECH 2017 organizers say the show provided attendees with access to the industry’s leading companies, latest innovations, and insight into current and future trends. The four-day expo included the most extensive education programming in its history, as well as a stacked lineup of expert-led panels and keynote presentations. The show hosted more than 1,700 exhibiting companies and almost 45,000 attendees from 120 countries to celebrate manufacturing’s industrial evolution.

The expo also put on special events that attracted large audiences, along with sparking further discussions about featured topics such as workplace collaboration, innovation, and creativity. Highlights included a new keynote format, “FABx Tech Talks” given by visionary leaders, the unveiling of the Albert Paley-Jesse James metal sculpture project, and an industry night event held at Soldier Field.

Posted February 28, 2018

HANNOVER, Germany–The 15th edition of the parts2clean show for industrial parts and surface cleaning was the biggest in its history, and also ranked among the best in terms of attendance. The next edition of the show, parts2clean 2018, will be held October 23-25 in Germany.

Held in Stuttgart, Germany, in late October, the show featured 253 exhibitors from 16 nations. Its displays filled more than 78,500 square feet of space, making it the biggest parts2clean ever in terms of booked space. The end-of-show tally shows that it was also a major success in terms of attendance. Over its three-day run, it attracted some 4,900 trade visitors, nearly 20 percent more than the 2015 show.

The facts and figures only tell half of the story, the other half being the high level of exhibitor satisfaction generated. Moreover, a very pleasing 87 percent of the visitors were professionals who play a major role in their organizations’ purchasing decisions.

Posted February 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Beginning January 2, to account for inflation, the US Department of Labor increased civil penalties for violations of standards and regulations that fall under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) by two percent. OSHA is one of several regulated areas to affect an increase in civil penalties.

The DOL indicated in a Federal Register notice that the agency was increasing 2018 penalties in order to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The act requires that certain department divisions keep monetary civil fines in step with the rate of inflation. Modifications must be made by January 15 of every year.

The DOL raised OSHA fines by 78 percentthe first increase in 26 years at the time of the mandate. This move was part of the Obama-era budget bill of 2016. OSHA penalties now sit at a maximum of $12,934 for other-than-serious and serious violations. For repeat and willful violations, the fines now top out at $129,336. While the penalty increase applies to federal OSHA states, the agency expects state-operated health and safety organizations will also follow suit with their own penalty structures.

Posted February 26, 2018

THE WOODLANDS, Tex.–Global chemical companies Huntsman Corp. and Clariant, Muttenz, Switzerland, have announced that they will not continue to pursue their $20 billion merger plan, after receiving pressure from activist investors who expressed concerns about the deal’s value for Clariant. Huntsman and Clariant first announced the proposed merger last May, noting that they expected it to close before the end of 2017. Both companies are major suppliers of raw materials for coating formulation.

In July, activist investor White Tale began acquiring shares of Clariant, pressuring the company to look at other options for value creation. The firms said the merger with Huntsman would not create ideal value for Clariant investors. In September, White Tale raised the stakes, increasing its stock in Clariant to more than 15 percent and penning an open letter to the company’s board in which it confirmed its opposition to the Huntsman merger.

Clariant said at the time that the merger would create more than $3.5 billion in value through cost and tax synergies and complementary product portfolios, and noted that while Huntsman’s president and CEO, Peter Huntsman, would become CEO of the new company, there would be no ceding of operational control along with the deal.

According to reports, White Tale’s stake in Clariant is now more than 20 percent. That increased stake, along with other investors expressing concerns about the deal, reportedly led the company to be unsure whether a shareholder vote on the deal would result in the two-thirds “yes” votes needed to move forward.

Posted February 22, 2018

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.–New and innovative programming will be featured at the Powder Coating Institute’s POWDER COATING 2018 Technical Conference. The event, which will be held March 12-15 at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., will feature four days of powder coating education, tabletop exhibits, general sessions, and social gatherings.

Featured sessions include Raising the Quality Bar; Determining True Applied Costs; Building a Business Case & Planning for a New Finishing System Installation; Minding Your Business; Safety: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility; Creating A Comprehensive Finishing Specification; Troubleshooting Your Batch Powder Coating Operation, IIoT & Advanced Automation, and more. For more info, visit www.powdercoating.org/powder-coating-2018.

Posted February 21, 2018

April 3-5: Essentials of Chemical Engineering for Non-Chemical Engineers. New York, N.Y. Sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Contact AIChE at 800/242-4363; fax 203/775-5177; tinam@aiche.org; www.aiche.org.

April 16-19: Paint Technology. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Melton Mowbray, Leicester, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact the PRA training team at +011-44-1664-501-212; training@pra-world.com ; www.pra-world.com/training.

April 17-18: Heat Exchanger Design and Operations. New Orleans, La. Sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Contact AIChE at 800/242-4363; fax 203/775-5177; tinam@aiche.org; www.aiche.org.

Posted February 20, 2018

Production Plus Corp./Magic Rack, Ashville, Ohio, has hired John Schott as the company’s first-ever vice president of business development. Although new to the coatings and finishing supplies industry, Schott’s business experience ranges from mid-level management in B2B consultative sales for a Fortune 200 company in California to owning and operating a small business in rural Kansas to helping companies of all sizes export their products.

“My first objective is to build out my sales force and distributor channels across the US, Mexico, and Canada,” said Schott. “We’ve got great, innovative products that every coater and finisher needs. We’ve got great people with incredible design capabilities, but we’ve not yet began to touch the potential of the marketplace. I’m focused on adding to my team and making new, strategic alliances.”

Production Plus, the maker of the Magic Rack product line, is a full-service provider of solutions for paint lines, including manufacturing complete racking systems for powder, wet spray, e-coat, and plating applications.

Posted February 19, 2018

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.–In December, in the spirit of the season of giving, the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) announced that several of its chapters held toy drives to benefit charitable organizations. These chapters, including the Southern California Chapter, the Central States Chapter, the Wisconsin Chapter, the Twin Cities Chapter, and the Central States Chapter, collected and contributed more than 1,500 toys and $1,300 to Toys for Tots and Kids 2 Kids charities. Each chapter organized a special event to bring association members together to support the organizations in need. CCAI is a technical and professional organization that provides information and training on surface coating technologies.

Posted February 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.–In October, the American Chemistry Council’s Center for the Polyurethane Industry (CPI) held its 60th Polyurethanes Technical Conference, where more than 1,000 industry experts met to learn and network. Over the 3.5-day conference, there were 14 technical sessions, 18 posters presented, and 73 exhibitors, as well as the Professional Development Program.

At the conference, CPI announced that Chemours’ Opteon 1100 was the recipient of its 2017 Polyurethane Innovation Award. Opteon 1100 is a hydrofluoroolefin blowing agent that CPI says addresses critical polyurethane needs, such as formulation stability and flexibility with existing components, excellent materials compatibility, exceptional long-term insulation performance, and a sustainable solution to meet changing regulatory requirements. Chemours, Wilmington, Dela., is a global chemical company. CPI promotes the growth of the North American polyurethane industry.

Posted February 15, 2018

FORT MILL, S.C.–A call for papers for oral and poster sessions at the 2018 International Coating Science and Technology (ICST) Symposium has been posted. Organized by the International Society of Coating Science & Technology (ISCST) and facilitated by the Association of International Metallizers, Coaters, and Laminators (AIMCAL), the 19th ICST Symposium will be held September 16-19 at the Hilton Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif.

The biennial meeting serves as the world’s premier forum for presenting advances in the mechanisms and process technologies for applying wet coated layers. Speakers are from both industry and academia. In addition to discussions of traditional coating and drying processes, the agenda presents emerging applications such as photovoltaics, fuel and battery cells, biomedical applications, and electronic displays. There’s also a daily tabletop exhibition, networking receptions, and an award presentation.

Submission forms can be found on the ISCST (www.iscst.com) and AIMCAL (www.aimcal.org) websites. ISCST is a technical society formed by an international group of academic and industrial scientists and engineers to foster fundamental understanding of liquid-applied coating processes. AIMCAL represents converters of metallized, coated, and laminated flexible substrates and their suppliers.

Posted February 13, 2018

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.–The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) held its inaugural Women in Finishing reception at its FABTECH FINISHING Pavilion last November. With more than 40 women from exhibiting companies in attendance, the reception surpassed expectations. As a result of the enthusiastic response, CCAI hopes to offer additional Women in Finishing events at future meetings to facilitate more involvement from women in the finishing industry at both the national and chapter levels. CCAI is a technical and professional organization that provides information and training on surface coating technologies.

Posted February 9, 2018

ORANGE CITY, Iowa–In late October, Peridium Powder/Vogel Paint welcomed over 400 guests to celebrate the completion of the first two phases of a 5-year, $29.3 million expansion plan for its powder coating manufacturing operation located at the company’s headquarters in Orange City, Iowa. Attendees heard remarks from Orange City Mayor Deb De Haan, Orange City development president Daryl Beltman, Vogel Paint president Jeff Powell, Vogel Paint vice president of business development Mark Vogel, and Vogel Paint chairman and CEO Drew Vogel.

The first and second phase of the project involved the doubling of the company’s powder coatings production facility, which included a 91,000-square-foot addition that allows for doubling its output capacity in the years to come, as well as the first portion of equipment for the new production lines. This investment is valued at an estimated $19.5 million. The climate-controlled, state-of-the-art plant is completed, and production has commenced.

Phase three of the four-phase expansion has begun ahead of schedule. This phase includes purchasing and installing additional powder production equipment for new processing lines in the recently completed expansion of the facility and upgrades to the original processing lines. With these additions, two-thirds of all the planned equipment in the new facility will have been installed. The new equipment is expected to be up and running in early 2019.

Vogel Paint, founded in 1926, is a manufacturer of high-quality paints and coatings for the architectural, heavy-duty protective, industrial, traffic, and powder coating markets. The Peridium Powder Coatings technologies include TGIC polyester, hybrid, urethane, and epoxy.

Posted February 8, 2018

PALM HARBOR, Fla.–Registration is open for ECOAT18, a two-day conference featuring electrocoat education and numerous networking opportunities all centered around maximizing productivity, quality, and profitability to enhance e-coat operations. The event features a comprehensive lineup of educational programming and networking events where you’ll be exposed to everything about e-coat and gain the opportunity to get all of your questions answered by industry leaders and experts.

ECOAT18 will be held April 24-26 at the Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. The resort is home to four championship golf courses, situated on a campus style resort with rooms, the conference sessions, and restaurants all onsite. For more info, visit www.ecoat18.com.

Posted February 7, 2018

CHICAGO, Ill.-At the most recent FABTECH, held this past November, the Paley-James Sculptures were revealed and displayed throughout the show. These unique sculptures were born out of an extraordinary partnership between two artists with diverse styles: the world-renowned sculptor Albert Paley and Jesse James of West Coast Choppers fame. The sculptures have since been auctioned off with sale proceeds going to the five FABTECH co-sponsors, AWS, FMA, SME, PMA, and CCAI, to support grants and educational opportunities for careers in the metal working trades.

Jesse James and Albert Paley used their unique styles and collaborated to make two sculptures, with each artist starting one sculpture and finishing the other. This is the first and only time that Paley has collaborated with anyone.

The finished sculptures are “Raiden,” which was started by Paley and finished by James, and “Ambiguous Equation,” which was started by James and finished by Paley. This extraordinary collaboration makes these pieces truly one-of-a-kind.

Posted February 6, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–If you’re a coating professional working in or near the Midwest region, make sure you attend the 10th Minnesota Symposium & Paint and Powder Coating Expo this spring. You’ll learn about improving the efficiency of industrial finishing operations while maximizing investment returns.

The event will be held March 14-15 at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul. It’s hosted by the Twin Cities Chapter of Chemical Coaters Association International (TC-CCAI) and the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota.

This event will encompass a vendor show, hands-on demonstrations, and technical seminars to provide answers to all of your industrial coating and process efficiency concerns. If you are involved with industrial finishing, you will benefit by attending both the symposium and the expo and obtaining essential information to improve your finishing process.

For more info and to register for the event, visit www.ccaiweb.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=944697. If you have further questions, please direct them to Paul Pagel at expo@umn.edu.

Posted February 5, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-Echo Engineering and Production Supplies Inc. has announced the recent acquisition of Ammex Plastics, a full-service plastic components manufacturer based near Detroit. Moving forward, Ammex Plastics will operate under Echo’s umbrella. Echo’s extensive resources, coupled with Ammex’s domestic injection molding capabilities, will allow Echo to increase its product offerings to new and existing customers of both companies, as well as their market share within the automotive plastics industry.

Ammex Plastics, Monroe, Mich., is a plastic injection molding company primarily serving the automotive industry by manufacturing fluid routing, fastening, interior, and suspension system components. Echo provides custom and catalog parts that focus on masking, protecting, and hanging, as well as rubber and plastic OEM components.

Posted February 2, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–D & K Powder Coating, North Mankato, Minn., is expanding their 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility by an additional 20,000 square feet. The company is a powder coating service provider.

Posted February 1, 2018

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands—Paints and coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has reached an agreement with hedge fund Elliott Advisors, bringing at least a temporary end to the dispute over the Dutch company’s refusal to engage in merger talks with PPG.

The agreement, which AkzoNobel says is part of a move to normalize relationships with shareholders, included discussion of the separation of the company’s Specialty Chemicals business. That arm of the company brought in $5.6 billion in revenue last year. AkzoNobel’s discussions with Elliott resulted in the two parties reaching an agreement regarding the plan to separate the arm from the company.

Elliott’s dispute with AkzoNobel centered around the Dutch paint company’s repeated refusals to consider merger proposals from rival PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, Pa. After PPG’s initial merger proposals were rebuffed by AkzoNobel management, Elliott stepped in to challenge company management. The hedge fund urged AkzoNobel to meet with PPG, then attempted to call an Extraordinary General Meeting on the topic of ousting the company’s Supervisory Board chair, Antony Burgmans.

Elliott first moved to oust Burgmans in April, when the firm reportedly owned only a 3.25 percent stake in the coatings company. Elliott was dissatisfied with AkzoNobel’s unwillingness to go to the bargaining table with PPG. Elliott then began litigation regarding the company’s duties to its shareholders. During this period, Elliott became the Dutch paint company’s largest shareholder, holding 9 percent of the company. Both entities have agreed to suspend all ongoing litigation for at least three months, assuming the terms of a standstill agreement are met.

Posted January 31, 2018

March 14: Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist. MSCI headquarters, Rolling Meadows, Ill. Sponsored by the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI). Contact Rose Manfredini at 847/485-3008; fax 847/485-3001; rmanfredini@msci.org; www.msci.org.

March 14-15: Powder Coating 101 Workshop. JW Marriott Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

March 20-21: The Development, Manufacture, and Application of Powder Coatings. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Melton Mowbray, Leicester, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact the PRA training team at +011-44-1664-501-212; training@pra-world.com ; www.pra-world.com/training.

March 27-28: ASTM Corrosion Testing: Application and Use of Salt Fog, Humidity, Cyclic, and Gas Tests. ASTM headquarters, West Conshohocken, Pa. Sponsored by ASTM International. Contact ASTM at 610/832-9585; fax 610/832-95555; service@astm.org; www.astm.org.

Posted January 30, 2018

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill.—Global coil coatings manufacturer Beckers Group recently introduced a new primer that can take the place of multiple other primers under polyesters, urethanes, PVDF, and other coatings. The universal primer provides a number of properties that make it effective for use under various topcoats. The high-solids primer provides corrosion protection and increased opacity, and it also improves total solar reflectance for dark substrates. Because it is compatible with a number of different topcoats, applicators are able to spend less time changing and cleaning lines.

Posted January 26, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—The initial beta phase of a novel, computer-assisted drone to take dry film thickness (DFT) and surface profile measurements is expected to launch very soon, according to officials with software-controlled aerial robotics company Apellix, Jacksonville, Fla.

Called the “Smart Bee,” the drone uses specialized software, sensors, and an electronic coating thickness gauge system to collect and record nondestructive DFT millage thickness measurements. It eliminates the need for scaffolding and cranes, keeps workers safely on the ground, and improves productivity by up to 15 times—all while automatically recording every measurement with the time, data, photo confirmation, and additional project data.

The patent-pending technology consists of a base station with a portable computing device, such as a laptop or tablet, and a high-resolution video display; an unmanned aerial vehicle with attached sensors, a video camera, and a DFT probe; and specialized software with embedded systems for flight control and communications of the DFT measurements.

The system operator flies the aircraft to within close proximity of the location where the DFT measurement is to be taken and recorded. Then, with computer-assisted flight from the onboard distance and other sensors, the operator is able to “touch” the wand/probe to the surface to take the DFT measurement. The readings and the general location of the measurement are then recorded.

Based on strong early interest, the beta phase was targeted toward the maritime industry. Because of the unprecedented approach, the developers wanted to limit the initial commercial rollout to a small industry subset that they could closely monitor and work with. Eventually, the company plans to make its products available for smaller users.

In addition to the DFT drone, the developers are working on a separate “Worker Bee” model that works as a tethered, drone-based painting platform for larger-scale vertical surfaces. The company is currently conducting feasibility studies on this version.

Posted January 24, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Dura Industries, reputable color developer and applicator of liquid PVDF and powder coatings, teamed up with Valspar, frontrunner in the international coil and extrusion architectural coatings industry, to create and coat the renowned façade of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

For this specific project, Dura Industries implemented a hand-painted five-coat system for the first time in the company’s history. What resulted after project completion, apart from the phenomenal structure, was the development of an Artisan style coating using a Dura three-coat system.

To achieve the desired shade for the new museum, 3,600 metal wall panels were hand-coated by Dura’s production team. The metal wall panels were coated with a five-coat system, two layers of primer and three of the coating itself, achieving the envisioned hue of copper. Valspar provided multiple custom colors of its Fluropon exterior architectural coating, which were then mixed to the desired shades to achieve what would eventually be known as the Artisan 3.5 coating.

The two layers of primer with the five-coat system were necessary to create an even appearance for the rough surface of the sand-casted aluminum metal wall panels used on the new museum. After the development of the structure, the Dura team saw opportunity in their capability to create a uniform look consistently across thousands of metal panels. Since the use of sand-casted aluminum is unconventional within the industry, the first two layers of primer are not necessary on traditional materials.