Axalta Coating Systems: Empowering Manufacturers With Superior Coatings

Axalta Coating Systems: Empowering Manufacturers With Superior Coatings

Follow Axalta Coating Systems on :

Michael Carr, Vice President & President of Americas Region, Axalta Coating SystemsMichael Carr, Vice President & President of Americas Region If there is one thing that practically every manufactured product requires—be it a car, machine, mobile phone, or a decorative item—it is coating. The demand for coating reflects the need to not only enhance a product’s physical appearance but also protect it from elements such as weather, abrasion, ultraviolet light, heat, water, corrosion, and other forces that can affect its lifespan and efficiency.

Today, the market is replete with numerous paint and coating solution providers offering a variety of fit-for-purpose coatings and a trailblazer among these is Philadelphia-based Axalta Coating Systems [NSYE: AXTA]. A global coatings company, Axalta provides a wide range of high-performance liquid and powder coatings that improve the durability of a product. Since its inception in 1866, the firm has been developing and manufacturing an innovative array of solutions and services that encompass liquid and powder coatings, color matching tools, application technologies, as well as customer training, support, and business management systems for customers in the automotive, transportation, general industrial, and architectural and decorative sectors.

Axalta developed its first products in 1866 primarily to protect carriages against stone chipping on dirt roads. And, then in 1920, the company came out with a series of fast-drying multi-colored paints for automotive paint jobs. The success of this new painting venture provided Axalta the head start they required in the paint and coatings realm. Today, the firm has developed into a leading manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings that serves over 100,000 customers in 130 countries.

High-Quality Coatings

From commercial vehicles, light OEM vehicles, and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings, and pipelines, Axalta’s robust portfolio of performance and transportation coatings—which are provided in the form of liquid and powder coatings—help prevent corrosion and enable materials to last longer. The coatings come in a wide range of colors and offer high performance, good coverage, durability and dazzling shine. While the transportation coatings protect cars, trucks, buses, trains, and other vehicles by providing a flawless finish that can endure the harshest conditions, the performance coatings ensure durability.

Each of Axalta’s coatings is designed to accelerate production time and last longer while saving energy

From cars and heavy-duty trucks to trains and sport vehicles, Axalta’s liquid coatings protect against corrosion and bring luster and elegance to every surface. These coatings conserve energy by protecting and insulating electrical system components and a range of automotive and transportation vehicle parts. Furthermore, Axalta’s traditional high solids, low-VOC, and waterborne paint and application systems are formulated to provide benefits—from increased production cycle time to reduced emissions. For example, Axalta’s liquid polyurethane paint is the most widely used paint for heavy-duty trucks. It is extremely well-suited for graffiti in the top coat and protects against corrosion. Axalta powder coatings, on the other hand, have earned a reputation for corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and durability owing to their superior edge coverage, thick film build and need for no primer. Furthermore, the absence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and targeted hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) makes these coatings eco-friendly. Axalta’s powder coatings are also free of solvents and do not leave traces of residual solvents in the coating film. Available in a variety of colors for a broad range of applications, these coatings are easy-to-use, easy-to-apply, and require minimal operator training. These are widely used for chassis, wheels, seat frames, exhausts, and engine components.

Key Differentiators

It’s all in the shades, tints, and combinations.

In addition to the coatings, another aspect that truly differentiates Axalta from the rest of the pack is their know-how in color technology. With over 60,000 colors available today and about 1,000 added every year, it can be quite a challenge for manufacturers to choose one that not merely looks great on the product, but also offers convincing quality. Thus, the company has curated a wide range of colors and finishes grouping them into collections for specific applications. These collections provide OEMs with color palettes that include rich solids, soft hues, sparkling effects, sophisticated metallics, modern shades, elegant dark shades, and eye-catching bright colors.

"While the transportation coatings protect cars, trucks, buses, trains, and other vehicles by providing a flawless finish that can endure the harshest conditions, the performance coatings ensure durabilityy"

Furthermore, the company has also designed innovative tools and technology to help technicians obtain the most accurate color match possible. In collaboration with global refinish brands such as Cromax, Spies Hecker, and Standox, Axalta has developed highly-advanced digital spectrophotometers that help match colors.

The spectrophotometer, when placed near the damaged area on a vehicle, assesses color and effect characteristics at multiple angles. And, if the color on a specific part is different from the standard formula, the color matching software uses proprietary technology to automatically adjust the formula to provide refinishers the closest possible match.

In a nutshell, Axalta’s color technology and tools help customers and OEMs select and measure color with scientific methods that model visual perception.

The Game Changer

Since its outset, Axalta has tremendously evolved and carved a unique niche for itself in the coatings segment. But, what has remained the same over the years is the company’s tradition of quality, innovation, leadership and approach to putting its customers first. Axalta’s leaders believe that the success of their business is directly proportional to their ability to serve clients efficiently. And, that is the reason Axalta’s teams take ownership in everything they do. The company innovates with purpose and succeeds as one united global team.

The firm is driven by dedication and commitment to develop, produce, and deliver coating solutions that not only cater to the needs of its customers but also the demands of their industries. Today, Axalta has a portfolio of more than 1,000 granted patents and pending patent applications reflecting its forte of 150 years in the coatings industry.

Another aspect that provides Axalta with a competitive edge is sustainability. Sustainability is central to everything Axalta does as a coatings company. Each of Axalta’s coatings is designed to accelerate production time and last longer while saving energy. Whether improving corrosion protection of coated steel pipe or matching a custom color on an aluminum structure, Axalta focuses on providing exceptional products.

The Road to Innovation

The company currently deploys a dynamic team of more than 1,400 research fellows, scientists, engineers, and technicians across its research centers in the U.S, Europe, and the Asia Pacific where it continues to develop and improve products that withstand the rigors of regional climates, fulfill customer needs, and comply with local regulations.

Some of Axalta’s significant milestones include the opening of two new facilities in Australia and New Zealand. These facilities are set to enable higher quality and faster service for customers, greater access to Axalta’s broad selection of advanced coating technologies and products, and more efficient supply chain solutions for customers. Axalta also recently launched a global innovation center in Philadelphia for its global research, product development, and technology initiatives.

Advancing into the future, the company plans to expand its product portfolio with innovative next-generation sustainable coatings and application processes. Furthermore, Axalta is all set to roll out a pipeline of new products that will benefit its customers significantly in the years to come.

- S P Vishnupriya
    April 16, 2019