Axalta has opened its customer regional training centre (RTC) in Western Sydney, which was inaugurated by Sobers Sethi, President Emerging Markets at Axalta Coating Systems, on 14 November.
“The new training facility uses the latest coating technologies, industry-leading training techniques, and advanced digital equipment to enable repairers to deliver the highest quality refinish, enabling our customers to be more efficient, productive, and profitable,” said Sethi. “We help our customers drive these improvements while also being mindful of the environment with sustainable techniques and products.”
Local customers and partners were invited to see the latest products in action and view the training environment, which includes industry leading equipment.
“Simply put, the new training facility offers the best training available in the region,” said Steven Brett, Managing Director of Axalta Coating Systems in Australia. “Axalta is a world leader in refinish and is consistently making significant investments, like the RTC, to enhance our capabilities and facilities to help customers grow their businesses.”
The training centre is equipped with two of the latest USI Chronotech spray booths and three full down draft preparation areas, which can be divided by electric curtains and feature a rail track system for easy vehicle side loading. There’s also three paint mix rooms with a large cleaning room and a spray box-booth for test panels and colour card spray outs.
Attendees will also learn from Axalta trainers in a theory room with the latest audio-visual equipment that can seat up to 20 people. The new facility also includes a storeroom for all consumables and tools, along with an air-conditioned lunch and kitchen area with modern facilities.
Axalta Coating Systems hosted a ceremony where the company accepted the Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) 2018 Masters of Quality Supplier award.
The award honours top suppliers of components and services to Freightliner Trucks and Western Star brand trucks and recognises outstanding suppliers that have received high scores based on their quality, delivery, technology and cost performance as measured on a balanced scorecard basis. Axalta says such suppliers demonstrate dedication to continuous improvement of the quality of their products, support to DTNA and overall performance.
“It’s a great day of celebration for our employees as we recognise their incredible contributions for this prestigious award,” said Joseph Wood, Axalta Vice President-Commercial Transportation Coatings. “Daimler’s recognition is a great honour for the entire Axalta team. This award acknowledges our commitment to our customers, to providing exceptional service and support, and to offering outstanding products. We look forward to continuing this tremendous relationship with Daimler Trucks North America.”
“It is with the commitment and support of all our suppliers that we can provide our customers with the quality, service and highest levels of product innovations in the industry,” said Jeff Allen, SVP of Operations and Specialty Vehicles for Daimler Trucks North America. “We are pleased to recognise the 45 Masters of Quality award recipients who have excelled in their commitment to excellence, and we appreciate their continued partnership.”
Axalta has announced the appointment of Jim Muse as Vice President of Refinish Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), succeeding Adrien Schrobiltgen in this role.
Muse first joined Axalta in 2013 as part of the North American refinish leadership team and was awarded the Axalta senior leadership award in 2015 for his contributions to the company. In his most recent role as Vice President of Global Refinish Sales, Muse led the organisation’s global customer base and was responsible for key American strategic accounts.
“I am delighted to welcome Jim to the region,” said Yves Kerstens, Vice President Axalta and President for EMEA. “His continued commitment to commercial excellence coupled with his success in playing a lead role in building and executing a new go-to-market strategy in North America makes him a great fit for this role. I am confident that with his vast knowledge of the refinish industry and his excellent leadership skills, he will be instrumental in continuing to grow the business in our region.”
Schrobiltgen is leaving the company to pursue opportunities outside the coatings industry after more than 34 years with Axalta. “We thank Adrien for his immense contribution to the organisation and wish him all the very best with his new endeavours.” said Kerstens.
Muse is based in Axalta’s EMEA headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.
Axalta has been named a strategic partner of Rheinmetall Defence for its Land 400 Phase 2 project. Axalta says that under the new contract, it will provide the global Boxer supply chain for coatings, application training and technical support to optimise their painting operations.
The Land 400 Phase 2 project involves delivering 211 Boxer wheeled 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles to replace the Australian Army’s light armoured vehicles.
“Axalta is extremely proud to continue our strong relationship with Rheinmetall,” said Michael Busch, OEM and Military Program Manager at Axalta. “Axalta’s continued focus on the most technologically advanced and innovative coatings aligns perfectly with the Rheinmetall Boxer CRV. The delivery this September of the first unit is a significant milestone and represents only the start of our work together on this exciting project.
“Axalta has been working with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia (RMMVA) since 2015 and has consistently demonstrated an ability to develop customised product solutions for defence projects. In addition to providing special end-use coatings, Axalta’s technology included application techniques designed to improve cycle times and coating productivity.”
With painted components originating from numerous Australian and global locations, Axalta said its ability to assess site capabilities, design customised training, implement strict quality controls and establish efficient supply chains has ensured these cutting-edge military vehicles are delivered just as the Australian Defence Force had envisaged. Throughout the development of the Boxer CRV, Axalta formed part of the partnership between the Commonwealth, Rheinmetall and other SME partners to deliver the first Boxer ahead of schedule.
In early September, the Agoria Solar Team from the University of Leuven in Belgium arrived in Australia, ready to continue preparing for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge from 13 to 20 October.
Axalta said it donated its Cromax refinish coatings for a final touch up for the University of Leuven’s competing car, BluePoint. The team is on its way toward ensuring the car is looking its best and is ready to tackle the challenge beginning in mid-October.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge attracts entries from around the world. This year will mark the eighth consecutive year that the University of Leuven has had a team participate in the event and Axalta has worked with the students since 2015, giving them access to Axalta’s Cromax coatings.
The car was painted at the Cromax Training Centre (CTC) in Mechelen, Belgium, featuring solid white and two shades of blue that were specially developed by Cromax to match the corporate colours of its main sponsor, Agoria.
The racing team will prepare their car for the road race over the next few weeks, which covers 3021 kilometres through the Australian Outback from Darwin to Adelaide.
For more information on the relationship between Cromax and the Agoria Solar Team, click here. Keep up to date with the Agoria Solar Team’s journey via www.facebook.com/solarteam.be or visit www.solarteam.be.
According to Reuters, PPG Industries has partnered with private equity investor Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to consider acquiring Axalta Coating Systems.
Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Reuters said joining forces with the buyout firm would enable PPG to get around any regulatory concerns which could be raised by an acquisition. The sources said the parties are considering establishing a consortium which could also include the likes of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, along with US investment management firm BlackRock, to carry out the deal. However, should the parties go ahead with the planned approach, they could have some competition from Platinum Equity and Koch Industries, with the sources telling Reuters the pair have held talks about partnering on a bid.
A sale of Axalta was first reported back in June, when the company began a review of strategic alternatives in an attempt to “generate value for shareholders”. However, the sources cautioned that there is no guarantee of a sale of Axalta taking place. Axalta rebuffed acquisition approaches in 2017 from Akzo Nobel and Nippon Paint Holdings.
Axalta, which describes itself as a leading global coatings provider active in the development, manufacturing, delivery and service of liquid and power coatings, employs around 14,000 people and has a customer base numbering in excess of 100,000 and spanning 130 countries.
None of the parties involved have commented on the report.
Axalta Coating Systems has announced the sale of its 60,000th spectrophotometer, with 10,000 sold globally in the past 15 months alone. The digital tools are used to accurately and quickly colour match, boosting the efficiency of body shops.
“Adopting a digital approach to colour matching and retrieval is a global trend that started 25 years ago when Axalta was one of the first coatings companies to offer a digital device and software to refinish customers,” said Dr Martin Wulf, Axalta’s Colour and Technical Manager for Refinish Systems in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Today, we encourage all of our users to future-proof themselves and optimise their efficiency by moving to digital colour measurement.”
Axalta says that refinishers take the colour readings from a vehicle’s paintwork using the spectrophotometer, which then wirelessly sends the readings to Axalta’s online global colour database. The colour matching software searches over 200,000 constantly-updated formulas and where necessary, automatically adjusts the closest formula to provide refinishers with the closest match. It can then be selected on a smartphone or tablet and sent via Wi-Fi to an IP scale for mixing the colour formula.
“The future is now,” said Wulf. “The spectrophotometer is clearly a valuable part of modern refinish work. We expect to see continued and significant growth globally as body shops adopt a completely digital way of working. For customers who are looking at going digital, we will support and help them make a seamless transition to a fully digital colour management process.”
The Axalta Services team, along with internationally recognised speaker Mike Anderson, demonstrated to body shops how to meet industry challenges head on through the National Business Council symposium held at the Pullman & Mercure Albert Park, Melbourne, from 11-13 August 2019.
“The National Business Council is all about helping body shops to future-proof their business,” said Robin Taylor, Axalta’s Services Manager. “At Axalta, we are very pleased to host this year’s symposium to provide valuable insights into some of the tools and techniques that are critical in aiding business success. It is also wonderful to have Mike Anderson attend this year’s symposium to present to the attendees.”
Mike is an Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) and has served on numerous industry advisory committees. He brought his knowledge and experience from the US market, where he works closely with repairers, OEMs and insurance companies.
Axalta says a key focus of the symposium was the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and the impact they can have on the repair process. From understanding initialisation and calibration, through to repair precautions, Axalta believes this topic is crucial for body shops to understand as vehicle technology continues to evolve. Some of the other topics covered included how estimating is evolving thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), positioning a business in the industry, the impact of a business manager on the business and the importance of pre and post scanning.
Axalta says the National Business Council is an opportunity for people in the industry to come together and share their experiences, with the company holding the symposium every few years.
Axalta has continued to design and develop user-friendly products for the professional body shop through its refinish non-paint consumable brand, Audurra. The recently expanded range of products now includes masking foil, mixing cups/lids, stirrers and wipes. In addition, there is a new premium abrasives range which includes discs, strips and soft rolls.
The company says these premium discs, strips and soft rolls are specifically developed to work effectively with Axalta paint systems and are designed for high efficiency sanding. They form part of a new sanding system that focuses on choosing the product that is right for the application, as opposed to choosing a grit size. Products are classified as A-B-C-D-E to make sanding easier, with only eight items to cover 90 per cent of applications. The system aids in avoiding application errors and results in re-coatability without scratch or swirl marks, while the multi-hole pattern makes them flexible for use on pads and blocks.
The product features four grits for paint preparation (A to D). The coarse grits focus on removal rate and time savings, while the fine grits have low scratch depths for perfect finish. In addition, there is one grit (E) for use in blending.
To find out more about the Audurra range, contact an Axalta distributor or go to www.axalta.com.au/audurra.
Axalta Coating Systems announced that Troy Weaver has been promoted to Vice President, Global Refinish, effective immediately. Weaver will report directly to CEO, Robert Bryant.
“We are thrilled to promote Troy to head up our Global Refinish business and add him to Axalta’s leadership team,” said Bryant. “Troy’s experience, in virtually every aspect of our Refinish business during the past 27 years, positions him extraordinarily well to be the next leader of this cornerstone business. His deep institutional knowledge of our Refinish business and the industry, his long-standing relationships with customers ranging from multi-shop operators to independent body shop owners, and his strong business acumen and sales and marketing expertise, make him a perfect fit for this leadership role.”
“Our Refinish business will continue to be an industry innovation leader,” continued Bryant. “We are committed to consistently delivering the exceptional products and services that our customers want. Troy has played a critical role in developing the plan that has driven our strong track record of growth and success. We are confident that his vision for the future will help us grow our Refinish business and industry-leading position.”
“We are proud to have another internal promotion on our leadership team,” concluded Bryant. “We believe the expertise, understanding, and continuity that our next generation of leaders, like Troy, brings new thinking and enhances our culture. Troy will be a great addition to our leadership team, and we expect that he will continue to differentiate our Refinish business through innovation, while he and his team deliver value to customers every day.”
Prior to his promotion, Weaver was Axalta’s Vice President, North America Refinish where he was responsible for Axalta’s Refinish business in the USA and Canada. He began his career at DuPont Performance Coatings in 1992, and has held various sales and marketing leadership roles. He is also a two-time recipient of DuPont’s Prestigious Marketing Excellence Award, first in 2007 and again in 2010. Weaver is active in the industry and has served as Chairman of the Board of the CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association).