AkzoNobel Launches Advanced, Sustainable Paint Factory

AkzoNobel has officially opened what it claims is the world’s most advanced and sustainable paint plant in Ashington in the UK.
The high-tech facility – which cost more than €100 million ($149 million) to build – represents the largest ever global investment by the company’s Decorative Paints business. It will become the new centre of production for Dulux, a leading decorative paint brand.
The Ashington plant uses a variety of renewable energy sources, including photovoltaic cells and a biomass boiler, alongside a highly automated manufacturing process which saves water, waste and energy. The company estimates that the carbon footprint per litre of paint produced at the site will be reduced by 50 per cent compared with the production facilities at the plants it is replacing.
“This is a significant investment in the UK – a vital strategic market for us – and an important milestone for AkzoNobel,” said CEO Thierry Vanlancker. “We continue to invest in highly innovative and sustainable production facilities to maintain and grow our leadership position, ensuring the best products for our customers in the UK and around the world.
“Our growth strategy means that we will continue to lead the paints and coatings industry, both in terms of the strongest brands and the most advanced technology.”
The factory will be capable of doubling AkzoNobel’s current UK production levels to 200 million litres a year. Covering an area of 100,000m2, the facility also has expansion capacity to support future growth plans.
All manufacturing technologies within the plant are managed by a single integrated computer system. This means that every activity – from the ordering of raw materials to the shipping of finished products – can be initiated without operator intervention. A highly agile production system means the plant is capable of producing paint across the entire AkzoNobel range.

SYMACH Appoints Gary Lyon Project Manager North America

Gary Lyons has been appointed as SYMACH’s Project Manager of North America, overseeing and supporting SYMACH activities in the region. His 14 years-experience in construction, project management and technical support has led him to collaborate with Symach in the commissioning of several new body shop projects over the last 18 months.
Lyon’s experience will bring great value by providing SYMACH’s North America customers with technical support during the installation and the pre-and-post installation phases of new body shops, as well as maintenance needs.
Lyon said: “It’s exciting to be involved with Symach in their revolutionary development of new technology in the body shop world. I believe Symach’s process is the future of the Collision Repair Industry”.
Commenting on the appointment, Osvaldo Bergaglio, Symach’s Owner and President said: “With Gary joining Symach we expect to be able to offer our customers even more complete and effective service, supporting them more closely with an on-site available technical service”.

Capricorn Launches CAPTV Member Communications

Australasia’s largest automotive parts cooperative, Capricorn, has launched a new and highly informative communications channel to its 17,000 plus Australian and New Zealand based Members. It’s called CapTV and it enables Capricorn to connect with its Members via the engaging medium of video.
Designed to engage, inspire and educate, CapTV showcases the many advantages that Capricorn Members are entitled to, profiling business services that can provide significant benefits to them. Freely available online, CapTV combines a professionally presented “Welcome to Capricorn” video with a “Take 2” series of informational videos that have been presented by actual Capricorn Members in a natural and unscripted format.
The CapTV “Take 2” series asks Capricorn Members to spend two minutes of their time to learn more about their Capricorn membership from other Members just like them.
The initial Take 2 series of CapTV video topics include:
• Making the most of your membership
• Capricorn Risk Services
• Capricorn Trade Account and Reward Program
• Capricorn Preferred Suppliers and the Purple Pages Guide
• Capricorn Travel and Events.
According to Capricorn Group CEO, Greg Wall, CapTV adds yet another dimension to its commitment to ensure that Members are up to date on everything relating to their Capricorn Membership.
“The importance of regular and informative communication can never be understated for any organisation, but it is particularly important for a cooperative like Capricorn that exists purely for the benefit of its Members,” Wall stated. “The introduction of CapTV complements our CapChat email newsletter and our monthly Ignition Member magazine, representing a new step in ensuring that Capricorn Members have access to all of the information that they need about their membership and how to gain the most benefits from it,” Wall added.
CapTV can also be viewed by non-Members to learn more about how Capricorn makes it so much easier for thousands of automotive aftermarket businesses across Australia and New Zealand. Visit capricorn.coop/captv to view the informative episodes or to join Capricorn, email [email protected] or visit Capricorn online at www.capricorn.coop.

The Last Toyota Aurion Rolls Off The Line

The last Toyota Aurion has rolled off the line at Toyota Australia’s Altona manufacturing base after 11 successful years, racking up over 110,000 sales domestically, as well as 70,000 that were built for the export market. Toyota’s answer to the big-Aussie V6 family sedan, it broke cover at the 2006 Melbourne International Motorshow, and succeeded the Avalon as Toyota’s largest family sedan.

At the time it featured the most advanced and powerful engine ever offered in a Toyota vehicle in Australia – a new 3.5-litre Quad Cam V6 developing 200kW of power at 6200rpm and 336Nm of torque at 4700rpm on regular unleaded petrol. Current Toyota Australia design chief Nick Hogios was at the centre of the design, further adding to the car’s Aussie-built, Aussie designed credentials.

Melbourne-based Chadstone Toyota Dealer Principal, Graeme Ward, was welcomed to Altona to take delivery of the final Toyota Aurion – high-grade white Presara – meeting with the team who built the final car.

Despite the departure of the Aurion from Toyota’s local line-up, Australian buyers looking for a six-cylinder V6 can rejoice as that engine configuration is confirmed in the line-up of the all-new Toyota Camry featuring an advanced direct-injection system paired with an automatic eight-speed gearbox set for release later in November.

In line with what was previously confirmed, the final Aurions rolled off the line this month, with Camry Hybrid vehicles to follow in September and Camry Petrol vehicles in October.

Nissan Trial Sees Electric Vehicles Feeding Power Grids

Electric vehicle owners in Denmark are parking their vehicle and feeding power from the battery back into the grid, earning nearly $2000 a year. Trials carried out by Nissan and Italy’s largest utility Enel have showed electric car batteries could help balance supply and demand at peak times and provide new revenue streams for owners.

Technology linking vehicles to the grid marks another challenge for utilities already having trouble integrating wind and solar power into their distribution system. As the use of electric vehicles spreads, grid managers will have to pay closer attention to when drivers draw from the system.

While Nissan has trials with more than 100 cars across Europe, only those in Denmark are able to earn money by feeding power back into the grid. So far, fleet operators are collecting around 1300 euros ($1946) a year using the two-way charge points.

Electric car demand globally is expected to soar, putting further pressure on grid operators to find new ways of balancing demand. Power consumption from vehicles will grow to 1800 terawatt-hours in 2040 from just six terawatt-hours now, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Jaguar Land Rover To Add 5000 Employees

Tata Motors??? owned Jaguar Land Rover has given a moral boost to the UK economy by announcing that it will hire up to 5000 personnel as it increases its skills in autonomous and electric technology.

JLR said it would hire 1000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4000 additional staff mostly in manufacturing and based in Britain. The company employs more than 40,000 people around the world. The company will build its first electric vehicle, the I-Pace, through Magna Steyr in Austria but is aiming to bring production back into the UK if there is support from government.

Manufacturers are competing in the race to produce greener cars and advance in the lowering of charge times as demand is growing and air quality targets are increased. JLR has said half of all its new models will be available in an electric version by the end of the decade, requiring new skills among its staff. The company builds almost a third of Britain’s 1.7 million cars sold annually.

Autopromotec Hosts Announcement Of Major European Aftermarket Event Alliance

Day two of the Autopromotec 2017 show saw Automechanika and AICA announce a cooperative alliance between the two companies, presenting the largest shows directed at the aftermarket industries in Europe and around the world.

Italy’s position as a leader in the development of ever changing technologies required for the modern automotive industry has led to a number of global equipment companies establishing themselves in the country. Advanced technology includes systems presented at previous shows aimed at automatically harvesting data from vehicles, which is especially useful for combating fraud and building better information systems.

Connectivity was one of the highlights of the shows with visitors seeking to experience the latest technological offerings in a hands-on demonstration environment.

Automechanika Brand Manager, Michael Johannes, explained that the 16 events that make up the Messe Frankfurt platform for the automotive aftermarket means that Italian companies can benefit from the association and access to new markets that Automechanika can enable. He expressed his excitement about the alliance for strengthening the integration of the Automechanika brand within the Italian market. “These Italian companies are an important part of our clients who exhibit in Frankfurt and by cooperating with AICA we hope to improve support for this important group of our clients,” he said.

Johannesburg and Shanghai are upcoming events that will maintain the cooperation and will benefit companies from joint marketing activities. “The members, the associations, Automechanika shows and the visitors will all benefit from this new alliance and these events can promote access to vibrant markets in Africa and China,” said Johannes.

He continued: “It’s about cooperation and the realisation that European companies and platforms need to work together to present their products to a global market. This is in order to build relationships with prospective and existing customers.” According to Johannes it is these platforms that can assist in ensuring competitiveness for European technologies, companies and countries.