Axalta To Build New, State-Of-The-Art Facility In The Netherlands

Axalta signed an agreement to develop a new, state-of-the-art facility in the Netherlands for its Dutch refinish business.

Once construction is completed, Axalta’s global refinish brands in the Netherlands – Cromax, Spies Hecker, Standox, and Syrox – will relocate to the new facility on Business Park Medel, both in Tiel.

The facility will also house Metalak BV.

“There has been a period of growth and change following our acquisition of Metalak in 2015,” said Adrien Schrobiltgen, Axalta’s VP for Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We have outgrown our current location’s ability to support us in the way in which we need it.”

Axalta’s plot in Business Park Medel is 12,000 square metres and will house, once completed, a large facility comprised of office space over three floors, a warehouse, and a new Axalta training centre as well as separate mixing room, which is part of Axalta’s direct business point of distribution, servicing both high-volume customers as well as local colour development.

“We are always looking to improve our level of support to our customers, so today, with a view to the future, we commit to building a state-of-the-art facility,” said Bas van de Ven, Axalta’s managing director for Refinish in the Netherlands “The new training centre will be able to meet the future needs of the market, while the new offices and sophisticated automated warehouse will allow us to take our daily operations to the next level and to attract and to retain outstanding talent.”

Ground is due to be broken on the site in October 2019, with an anticipated completion date by summer 2020. The facility will be operational and ready to move into by September 2020.

Adrien Schrobiltgen, Axalta VP for Refinish Systems in EMEA.

Axalta’s 2019 ‘Think Sustainable!’ Winner Announced

Axalta has concluded its ‘Think Sustainable!’ promotion in Australia by announcing the winner to be Robbie Manson from Apex Smash Repairs.

The promotion offered purchasers of a promotion kit that included a range of Axalta premium branded clears and Finixa paint processing products an entry in a draw to win up to $20,000 towards a solar panel system installation.

“We are excited to offer this promotion and encourage customers to ‘Think Sustainable’,” said Steven Brett, Managing Director of Axalta Coatings Systems in Australia. “Not every business can afford to install a solar panel system, so we are giving customers the chance to win one. At the same time, we encourage body shops to look at the technologies currently available that can minimise energy consumption, reduce waste or increase efficiencies.”

Manson said he is looking forward to seeing the impact the solar panel system will have on sustainability in his shop.

“I am so excited to have won this competition,” said Manson. “A big thank you to Axalta for supporting us by supplying a solar panel system and encouraging body shops to think about sustainability. I can’t wait to have the system installed so I can see the impact it has on my business.”

Axalta says it has a number of other initiatives in place to promote and support body shop sustainability. The Axalta Services team works with customers in achieving their sustainability goals through better, safer and sustainable business practices and actions. In addition, Axalta presents the “Axalta Business Excellence Award” each year to recognise businesses that have achieved a competitive advantage through sustainable initiatives.

National Business Council Returns In 2019

The Axalta Services team will be showing body shops how to meet the challenges of achieving productivity and profitability, head on, through a National Business Council symposium held at the Novotel in St Kilda, Melbourne from 11 to 13 August 2019.

Axalta says Axalta Services works hard with body shops to successfully manage both productivity and profitability by creating networking and management training opportunities engineered specifically for body shops. The company says the National Business Council symposium creates such a platform to effectively demonstrate how, through innovative business solutions, body shops can restructure to create a more sustainable business model, helping to future proof their business.

“The 2019 National Business Council is all about providing valuable insights into some of the tools and techniques that are critical in increasing throughput and decreasing cycle times within the collision repair process,” said Robin Taylor, Axalta’s Services Manager.

According to Axalta, the symposium’s seminars will focus on issues that are currently impacting or will impact body shops, as well as “looking at effective business strategies, targeting customer relationship management and change management”.

Attendees will also hear from Collision Advice’s Mike Anderson, who brings extensive knowledge and experience from the US market. Anderson will discuss leading trends in the US and focus on his experience in a dynamic industry.

Happening every few years, Axalta says the National Business Council is a networking opportunity for people in the industry to come together and share their experiences. Not only do attendees leave with insights into how to make their body shop more productive and profitable, but they also leave with a greater understanding of where the refinish industry is heading and how rapidly it is evolving.

“After attending the National Business Council, it made me realise just how many changes are happening in our industry today,” said Bert Rowsell, Managing Director of Rowsell Collision Repairs, about the 2016 conference. “I gained valuable insights that I can now take back to my businesses and more importantly, I have great networking contacts with whom I can share ideas. I found the two-day seminar very informative, with quality guest speakers and lively group discussions. I eagerly await the next conference.”

To learn more about the National Business Council or to register your interest, please visit www.axalta.com.au/axaltaservices.

Cromax Unveils New Training Video Series

Cromax has introduced a series of training videos entitled ‘Let’s get to work’, with the videos focusing on everyday repair methods.

Carried out by one of Axalta’s technical experts, the aim of the tutorials is to show the correct use of Cromax paint products and application processes. Axalta says the videos act as a valuable tool for all Cromax refinishers, as well as a refresher for refinishers who have attended face-to-face training courses at one of the Axalta training centres. The tutorials are available on the Cromax website and on the Cromax YouTube channel free of charge.

Axalta says the videos concentrate on the challenges refinishers face every day. The first tutorial in the series gives Cromax Pro Basecoat application guidelines for a side panel repair of a Volkswagen Polo in Reflex Silver. The technical expert begins by highlighting key aspects that need to be considered at the start of the repair – such as climate and gun settings – before the product is even touched. Several things are then demonstrated – a one and a half coat application process, a good effect coat with close and controlled overlap zones, and good hiding and full mottling control.

The second video deals with the repair of a bonnet in Reflex Silver and delves into clouding and mottling issues, while the third video highlights blending by showing best-practice processes. The fourth video focuses on tricky tri-stage repairs including blending, and the fifth video looks at the Cromax Ultra Performance Energy System by showcasing two different types of repairs on one vehicle.

Finally, the sixth video highlights an easier and more reliable way to find the correct colour formula, using simple and effective digital colour retrieval processes through the Genius iQ spectrophotometer and Standowin iQ software.

“Our customers are at the forefront of everything we do, which is why at Cromax we live by our ethos of delivering more than just paint to our customers,” said Paul Polverino, Axalta Australian National Training Manager. “These new videos certainly support that. They form part our arsenal of training tools that are designed to ensure everyone who uses our products and services do so in the best and most productive way possible.”

Axalta says the ‘Let’s Get to Work’ videos complement the face-to-face training sessions refinishers can attend at Cromax Training Centres around Australia, and support the content of the Technical Data Sheets.

“These videos will help make our refinishers’ lives easier by offering simple, accurate and highly accessible application instructions – direct from the experts,” concluded Polverino.

Five training videos are now live on www.cromax.com.au/LetsGetToWork. For more information about Cromax, please visit www.cromax.com.au.

Axalta Opens Its Largest Refinish Training Centre In India

Axalta has opened its largest and most advanced refinish training centre, spread over 20,000 square feet (nearly 2,000 square metres) in India. The state-of-the-art training facility was inaugurated by Sobers Sethi, President, Emerging Markets, Axalta. The company now has four dedicated training facilities in India.

“The opening of this new training facility demonstrates the confidence we have in the opportunities for growth in India,” said Sethi. “The coatings industry, especially waterborne coatings, in India has been growing at a rapid pace. The new refinish training facility will provide our customers with the most advanced painting techniques to help them be more efficient, productive, and profitable. And, we are helping our customers drive these improvements while being mindful of the environment with sustainable techniques and products. Our customers’ success is our success and we are proud to be the refinish leader in India and around the world.”

Axalta says it expects to train approximately 1000 technicians at the new training centre this year. Customers will use the company’s latest coating technologies, as well as industry-leading training techniques and advanced digital tools. Axalta says it will also demonstrate the most advanced spraying application systems that use less energy and reduce waste, have fast-drying finishes, and use superior colour matching technologies. Through this centre, the company says customers in India can stay on the cutting-edge of coating technologies and techniques that are designed to deliver benefits to their businesses immediately and for the long-term.

The training centre is also equipped with an advanced virtual reality (VR) training room, digital colour matching tool, and an online training facility for customers that cannot be physically present at the centre. Axalta says the VR training duplicates the paint spraying activity and experience, and enables customers to gain the benefits of the training without actually using the paint material.

Axalta Opens New ANZ Head Office In Sydney

Axalta today officially opened its new Australia and New Zealand regional head office.

The company said the 5300 square metre multi-functional facility will enable higher quality and faster service for customers throughout the region, greater access to the company’s broad selection of advanced coating technologies and products, and more efficient supply chain solutions for customers.

Axalta CEO, Robert Bryant, said the facility is a significant milestone for Axalta and its customers in the region.

“It demonstrates our confidence in the growing Australian and New Zealand markets and creates an important opportunity to be closer to our customers under one roof,” said Bryant. Customers will benefit because of the greater access to new products, faster customer service, and the unique training opportunities offered at our new facility. In addition, the expanded presence in ANZ enhances the capacity we need to meet our long-term growth plans in the region, which is an integral part of our continued global growth.”

Located in Marsden Park, Western Sydney, the facility will house regional corporate offices, a customer training facility, and a warehouse and distribution centre. Each of Axalta’s business segments – Refinish, Industrial, and Transportation – will be represented in the new building.

The state-of-the-art customer training centre will use Axalta’s latest coating technologies, training techniques and digital tools. The company said this will help customers achieve high quality results while increasing productivity and profitability.

Axalta said customers will also gain in-depth knowledge of the latest spraying application systems that use less energy and reduce waste, have fast-drying finish, and use superior colour matching technologies. The training centre is expected to be fully operational within the next four months.

“Axalta is the world leader in refinish and consistently invests in enhancing our capabilities, facilities, and training to help customers grow their businesses,” said Steven Brett, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Axalta. “We provide our customers with access to the latest products and innovations in the industry and offer the best training available. We are excited about our new training capabilities in the region, and that we can now offer the most efficient warehousing and distribution methods all from this terrific new facility.”

From left: Vice President and President Emerging Markets, Sobers Sethi; CEO Robert Bryant; and Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Steven Brett.
From left: Vice President and President Emerging Markets, Sobers Sethi; CEO Robert Bryant; and Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Steven Brett, officially cut the ribbon to open Axalta’s new head office in Australia and New Zealand.

Axalta’s “Sahara” Is 2019 Automotive Colour Of The Year

For the first time in its five-year history, Axalta’s Automotive Colour of the Year is showcasing a colour primed for vehicle customisation both at manufacturing facilities and in the aftermarket. The company says Sahara, a golden-bronze tone, radiates warmth, richness and strength for vehicles of all sizes – especially the expanding global truck and SUV markets – and can serve as the principal colour for two-tone possibilities including black roofs.

“At Axalta, we are seeing car designers leaning toward options for two-toning, accent roofs and stripes,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Colour Marketing Manager. “When it comes to mass customisation, Sahara is the type of colour that can serve as the foundation for these premium options.”

Borne from Axalta’s ChromaDyne line of colour coats formulated for global automotive manufacturers, Sahara is partly inspired by global trends for warmer shades highlighted in the company’s Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report. Yellow/gold vehicles are most popular in India and China, while the number of brown/beige vehicles increased in North America more than any other region.

Sahara is Axalta’s fifth Colour of the Year following Radiant Red (2015), Brilliant Blue (2016), Gallant Gray (2017) and StarLite (2018). StarLite, a pearlescent white, introduced coatings technology into the autonomous vehicle discussion. Axalta says its colours under development are tested for readability by autonomous sensors, and Sahara is formulated for visibility.

According to Dan Benton, Axalta Refinish Colour Marketing Manager, Axalta’s Colour of the Year is another example of how Axalta transfers OEM technology to the aftermarket and repair businesses.

“We get calls every year from some of the industry’s best custom builders looking to use colour to differentiate their products,” he said. “We have Sahara formulated and ready-to-go in our industry-leading refinish brands including Cromax, Standox and Spies Hecker.”

Robert Bryant Named Chief Executive Officer Of Axalta

Axalta has announced that its board of directors has named Robert Bryant Chief Executive Officer on a permanent basis, effective immediately. He had been serving as interim CEO since October 2018. Bryant was also appointed to serve on Axalta’s board of directors.

“Over the past two months, Robert has seamlessly stepped into the role of interim CEO and led the company in a challenging market environment,” said Charlie Shaver, Axalta’s Chairman of the Board. “Having worked closely with him over the past six years, I am extremely confident in his ability to lead Axalta effectively as our permanent CEO. The board and I look forward to seeing Axalta build on its success and continue to thrive under Robert’s leadership.”

“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me and am honoured to continue working alongside a talented management team and dedicated employees to build on Axalta’s well-deserved reputation for customer service and innovation,” Bryant said.

The company also announced that Sean Lannon has been named Chief Financial Officer on a permanent basis, effective immediately. He had been serving as Vice President and interim Chief Financial Officer since October 2018.

“Sean’s business and financial acumen, years of experience working in increasingly senior finance roles at Axalta, and extensive background in financial reporting make him a great fit to succeed me as Axalta’s CFO,” said Bryant. “I am very excited to continue working with Sean to grow Axalta and build shareholder value over the long term.”

Axalta Renews Partnership With WorldSkills Australia

Axalta announced the renewal of its two-year contract as Gold Partner with WorldSkills Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that says it is focused on skills excellence in vocational, technological and service oriented careers in Australia.

Axalta’s commitment to WorldSkills Australia as a Gold Partner will support both the Regional and National Championships through the supply of Standoblue, the company’s latest in waterborne coating technology, and the new generation Sagola spray guns, for which Axalta is sole distributor in Australia.

WorldSkills Australia regional championship will be held around Australia in the first quarter of 2019. Each event will be designed to help improve competitors’ skills, build their confidence, and expose them to the latest technology and techniques. Registrations will open in February 2019 and the candidates could be participating in the 2020 WorldSkills’ national championship, which Axalta will take a prominent role in supporting.

“Our passion for our industry, and our desire to secure its future through promoting sustainable practices and encouraging excellence in young professionals, is what drives us at Axalta,” said Paul Polverino, National Training Manager at Axalta in Australia. “Sharing the common goal with WorldSkills Australia to continuously improve the quality of training and educational outcomes for young people who dream of becoming the ‘best of the best’ at vehicle refinishing, we are committed to supporting events and initiatives that promote the industry’s sustainability and longevity.”

For more than 10 years, Axalta says it has strived to mentor and nurture up talent in collaboration with WorldSkills Australia, offering support and resources such as product training, exposure to the latest work practices and sustainable techniques, problem solving strategies, teamwork development and leadership skills.

“Our trainers across Australia are dedicated to support all training providers who share our philosophy, as we are passionate about helping the youth of today become industry leaders of tomorrow,” explained Polverino. “Axalta is very proud to support these exceptional young Australians and provide them with new opportunities for growth in the field of vehicle refinishing.”

World Skills Australia Logo

Axalta Opens World’s Largest R&D Centre Dedicated To Coatings and Colour

Axalta has officially opened its Global Innovation Center, the largest coatings research and development centre in the world, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The company says the 16,260 square metre Global Innovation Center offers unparalleled specialty labs along with office space. Its location in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard enables collaboration amongst Axalta employees, business partners, and customers throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond.

“Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will become the central hub for our global research, product development, and technology initiatives where we develop and deliver the most innovative coatings products in the world,” said Robert Bryant, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Axalta. “Whether in colour technology, polymer and formulation chemistry, or application knowledge, the world-class capabilities and talent at Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will fuel new products and deliver the solutions that our customers want to grow their businesses into the future.”

Axalta says the Navy Yard location offers an attractive workplace for new talent, and the new campus was built with researchers in mind, modelling an academic setting with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to foster teamwork and creativity.

“Axalta’s team of scientists and technicians at the Global Innovation Center will develop next generation coatings products and keep pace with emerging application needs,” said Barry Snyder, Axalta’s Chief Technology Officer. “Regulations and customer demands call for newer technologically advanced coatings. The increasing use of light-weight plastic and composite materials in vehicles to save fuel require new coatings formulations. Developing products to suit these and other needs will be the mission of the Global Innovation Center and Axalta’s worldwide research and development network.”

After the public ribbon cutting ceremony, Axalta hosted more than 100 customers for a first look of the Global Innovation Center with tours of the facility.