BASF Spain Inaugurates Its Renovated Refinish Competence Centre

The Refinish Competence Centre at BASF Spain in Marchamalo (Guadalajara) celebrated its official reopening.

BASF says the training centre is dedicated to teaching body shop technicians, distributors and large automotive companies – all of them BASF customers in Spain and Portugal – about its premium brands, Glasurit and R-M. In addition, it hosts numerous events intended to promote the training of young future professionals, through initiatives such as “R-M Best Painter Contest” and “Castilla-La Mancha Skills”, as well as training vocational teachers through the FORTECO programme.

Originally built in 1983, BASF says the facility is among the top addresses for its customers in Iberia, with more than 2000 people a year participating in the training programmes. The training is key to mastering the complex techniques of colour adjustment and automotive refinishing, and it provides a complete overview of the latest innovations of the two brands.

Since the start of this year, BASF says the Marchamalo centre has invested around €2.5 million in renovating the facility to offer the best possible technological experience, saying the fundamental reason for the modernisation was the company’s “innovative spirit” as well as its commitment to its customers. With a focus on sustainability and environmental protection, BASF has installed equipment with maximum energy efficiency and minimum emissions.

Patricia Franco Jiménez, Regional Minister of Economy, Enterprise and Employment for Castilla-La Mancha, and Rafael Esteban Santamaria, Mayor of Marchamalo, joined other official representatives at the inauguration. The company was represented by Katja Scharpwinkel, Senior Vice President Automotive Refinish Coatings EMEA, Carles Navarro Vigo, Managing Director Country Cluster Head Iberia, Christian Schneider, Site Manager Marchamalo / Director of Operations, and Ramón Farré Gaudier, Regional Business Manager Automotive Refinish Coatings Iberia.

The production centre in Marchamalo (Guadalajara) is the headquarters of the Coatings division in Spain. The plant has been used by BASF as a production centre since 1982, although the company origins date back to 1867. Covering an area of 310,000 square metres, the centre employs around 650 staff and encompasses two paint factories – one plant for intermediate resins, and a large-scale production unit. Apart from the renovated training centre, the site includes an automotive application centre as well as quality control and development laboratories for all its main product segments.

The products manufactured in Guadalajara include high-technology coatings for the automotive industry and other technically demanding applications, various acrylics, binders for electrocoating, thix additives, polyesters and other special intermediate resins, and decorative paints, fillers and protective additives for tunnelling machines.

BASF To Axe 6000 Jobs Worldwide

BASF announced that it would cut around 6000 jobs worldwide by 2021, with half of those slashed in Germany. The workforce reductions will impact operations globally and are expected to generate savings of €300 million.

In a statement, the company said the move was an “organisational realignment” that would “streamline administration and simplify processes”, as part of an overall aim to have a smaller corporate headquarters and a stronger role for regional operations.

The majority of the jobs being cut in Germany will affect the company headquarters in Ludwigshafen, where 40,000 people are employed.

BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller said he wants to implement massive savings in all areas – in production and logistics as well as in research and development – and to sell off BASF subsidiaries.

Brudermüller is targeting a €2 billion earnings boost as he simplifies BASF and makes it more in tune with rapidly changing markets.

BASF Named 2018 GM Supplier Of The Year

BASF was named a 2018 General Motors (GM) Supplier of the Year for the 14th time since 2002. The award is presented by GM to suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting performance metrics for quality, execution, innovation, and total enterprise cost.

“We hold our suppliers to a high bar,” said Steve Kiefer, GM Senior Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “They went above and beyond to deliver the innovations and quality that will help us earn customers for life.”

GM says award winners represent companies who provide products and services to GM in the areas of vehicle components, supply chain and logistics, customer care and aftersales, and indirect services.

With its broad array of colour solutions, modern paint processes, engineering plastics advancements and polyurethane technologies, BASF says it helps GM improve productivity and environmental performance, with its Coatings division providing its time- and resource-saving Integrated Paint Process to GM, while supplying many GM plants with advanced coating technologies.

“This award is a result of strong customer focus from the whole organisation. Our business relationship with GM is centred around innovation, performance and continuously enhancing the customer experience,” said Dirk Bremm, President, BASF’s Coatings division.

BASF Supports Young Auto Refinishers At The Global WorldSkills Competition

Known internationally as the world championship of non-academic occupations, the WorldSkills competition aims to motivate young people worldwide to take up a trade or technical profession.

By sponsoring this initiative, the Automotive Refinish business unit of BASF’s Coatings division supports young talents, inspires them, and makes them excited about the spray-painting profession in particular. Initiated in 1950, trainees and young skilled workers from all over the world compete with each other at the WorldSkills and measure their skills in numerous categories ever since.

Through national and regional preliminary competitions only the best of their trade qualify for the finals of the biennial world championships. For BASF as the global industry partner of WorldSkills International with its Glasurit brand since 2017 and also the official sponsor in the “Car Painting” category, the competition is a great opportunity to support the next generation of automotive refinishers and also make the paint and coatings industry aware of young, well-trained talents.

At the WorldSkills competition, participants in the category “Car Painting” will exclusively use products from the comprehensive portfolio of BASF’s refinish brands Glasurit or R-M, depending on the country. Local trainers and online tutorials will help the young spray painters to learn more about efficient application processes and provide them with useful tricks for best results. During the finals, the jury will also pay close attention to a sustainable way of working. By selecting the right products, reducing waste and re-using materials, the participants will be in the position to combine ecological vision and economic success.

From August 22 to 27, young professionals under the age of 25 will meet for the finals in Kazan, Russia, to prove their craftsmanship in the international competition. WorldSkills organizers are expecting more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world as well as 1,600 participants from more than 60 countries who will measure their skills against each other in 56 performance competitions.

BASF Introduces Digital Platform For Visualising Automotive Exterior Colours

BASF’s Coatings division has introduced a digital platform it calls AUROOM, which enables OEM designers to access a database of photo-realistic virtual car colours.

BASF’s virtual colours capture all facets of automotive coatings including lightness flop, colour flop and sparkling. By mapping these colours on car models, OEM designers can virtually paint every colour proposal and gain realistic impressions of colours and effects on a complete car already in an early design phase.

BASF says AUROOM will be a valuable tool for OEM designers to speed up and perfect the overall colour design process as they are no longer solely dependent on physical samples that need to be painted and shipped. AUROOM provides further innovative features like real-time side by side comparison of different colour shades of the same colour group to make the right colour decision easier.

“Automotive coatings are highly complex colours with texture, colour position and surface defining the overall impression,” said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Colour Design EMEA at BASF’s Coatings division.

“To easily understand the impact of these colour parameters on a 3D shape, the digitised colours enable the user to see this on their individual models.”

Working together with almost every car manufacturer on the market, BASF says it currently produces over 600 colours in Europe, with new colours constantly being designed. This large portfolio will now be scanned by cameras. The huge amount of appearance data generated during the scan is processed using a sophisticated mathematic model, while BASF’s colourimetric know-how contributes to ensure its authenticity. OEMs can then access the comprehensive colour data at the AUROOM platform and render it on different 3D shapes provided by the platform or CAD shapes of their own models.

“Digitalisation is an important topic, especially in the automotive industry,” said Krzysztof Patryk Stolarzewicz, head of Global Strategic Marketing at BASF’s Coatings division.

“We have a lot of experience creating colours in our labs and now we are able to digitise them and create photo-realistic digital reproductions. For our customers, it means the colour decision process will become easier, faster and much more effective. They can also use the data for their own brand-specific car configurators so that car buyers can experience automotive colours in their entire variety which supports their buying decision.”

In the start-up phase, BASF says its virtual colour solution will first be introduced to OEMs in EMEA. In addition to the digital platform, the customers will have the chance to experience the technology at AUROOM’s “analogue twin” – a specially designed showroom at the Colour Design Studio Europe in Münster, Germany.

To demonstrate the colours and effects in the most authentic way possible, BASF also developed special virtual 3-D car shapes. Like BASF’s iconic dome shape, the virtual shapes simulate various forms of a car body. In order to assess compatibility of colour with the overall design concept, OEM designers can choose shapes of different vehicle segments in AUROOM for colour visualisation.

BASF Will Feature Four Of The Best At SEMA 2018

BASF Refinish Automotive Coatings, located at booth #20353 in the Racing and Performance area of Central Hall, will feature four customs at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association (SEMA) Show 2018.

During a planned press conference at its booth at 9:30am on Tuesday, 30 October, BASF will present four unique vehicle builds:

  • Chip Foose 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible – by SEMA Hall of Famer Chip Foose
  • Goolsby Customs 1974 Plymouth Duster – by Jonathan Goolsby; a drag-race car restored to its glory days for driver Beth Hazelwood
  • Customs by Kilkeary 1956 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible – by Tim Kilkeary; customized from bumper to bumper
  • Roadster Shop 1970 Chevy Camaro Widebody – by the Illinois-based shop.

The BASF booth will also showcase a custom 2016 Harley Davidson Road Glide built by CamTech.

BASF Opens Modular Lab For Automotive OEM Coatings At Its Münster Site

BASF’s Coatings division has opened a new laboratory for automotive OEM coatings at its Münster site in Germany. The modular “Lean Lab” concept aims to ensure optimised, digitalised and transparent processes and efficient use of resources in the laboratory area throughout Europe.

BASF says its lab employees’ discrete working processes and the use of standardised and automated processes allow the company to meet future market requirements quickly and flexibly. In line with this, the workforce in Münster is supported by a lab dosing machine that was specially developed for BASF and is the only one of its kind in the coatings industry, according to the company.

“BASF cooperates very closely with all major automotive manufacturers worldwide to develop advanced coatings technologies,” said Dirk Bremm, President of BASF’s Coatings division.

“Through the digitalisation of processes, optimised use of resources, and automation, we can respond even more efficiently and address our customers’ needs.”

Since 2014, BASF says it has invested €24 million to completely overhaul an existing laboratory building for this purpose, which included adding an extra story. The building now features four bright and airy laboratory levels with spacious offices and state-of-the-art lab workplaces that are all digitally linked. Discrete work processes are intelligently designed to foster customer-specific product developments, manufacture paint samples and perform application tests.

An optimised logistics concept also ensures that all materials for daily work – and for this work only – are available, which positively impacts resource efficiency. A lab dosing machine that is unique in the coatings industry and was specifically built for the lab in Münster, facilitates work and assures quality. At 12 metres long and weighing eight tonnes, it can manufacture standard formulas from over 300 liquid raw materials.

“It is said that digitalisation affects everyone,” said Karl-Josef Laumann, Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. “BASF’s Lean Lab clearly demonstrates how certain occupations, such as that of a laboratory technician for coatings, are being redefined.

“It is still about researching the features and appearance of colours and paints, but it takes place in a high-tech environment today. Young people who take this job need knowledge in chemistry, technology and IT alike. This proves to me that vocational training is modern. It is attractive. It is the starting point of a career.”

All job orders and the associated experiments within the lab are digitally stored and documented, which promotes transparency, reproducibility and knowledge transfer among the individual sites.

“The Lean Lab in Münster is our pilot project,” said Wolfgang Reckordt, Product Development Europe Automotive OEM Coatings at the BASF Coatings division. “Since late 2017, we have been gathering experience that we can use for introducing the Lean Lab at other sites in Europe – in Würzburg, Germany; Guadalajara, Spain; and Clermont, France.

“Lean Lab is our new European standard and will open up many possibilities for us to intensify product development and respond flexibly to new challenges.”

(From left) Minister Karl-Josef Laumann; Wendela-Beate Vilhjalmsson, Münster City Mayor; Susanne Richert, Lean Lab Project Manager; and Dirk Bremm.

Mercedes-Benz Australia Approves Glasurit As Preferred Supplier

Glasurit, BASF’s premium automotive refinishing brand, has been named the preferred supplier for refinishing paint for all Mercedes-Benz Autobody Repairers in Australia and New Zealand.

Mercedes-Benz Autobody Repairers say they operate under the commitment to return cars to their pre-accident condition and ensure the original safety and quality of the vehicle is not compromised. BASF says the Glasurit brand is known worldwide for its innovative premium refinish products and its extensive portfolio of services, in addition to offering an extensive training programme and diverse range of instruments for developing body shops.

“Our partnership with Mercedes-Benz in Australia and New Zealand is about more than just delivering high-quality refinishing paint. It also offers Mercedes-Benz Autobody Repairers with access to our leading training programmes and expert know-how required to implement the most efficient work processes in the body shop,” explained Paul Hooper, Senior Key Account Manager BASF.

BASF and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, have a long-standing partnership across production and supplier networks throughout the world.

As a global vehicle manufacturer renowned for cutting edge design and technology and superb build quality, Mercedes-Benz says it only endorses products that meet its stringent quality and performance requirements.

“Being elevated to preferred supplier status with Mercedes-Benz enables us to build on our existing partnership and deliver premium products and services, including training, business consultancy and colour support to the authorised repairers,” added Hooper.

Baslac Introduces 25-35 and 25-95 Primer Filler Wet-On-Wet

BASF brand baslac has introduced two new wet-on-wet primer fillers to its range of refinish products.

BASF says baslac 25-35 white and 25-95 black primer fillers will provide a high solids non sanding primer that has great coverage, even when straight black is used.

Benefits include:

  • No sanding needed before topcoat or basecoat application
  • Only 20 minutes drying time required before applying the topcoat or basecoat
  • Good adhesion – can be applied directly on e-coat without sanding
  • Can be overcoated up to five days away without intermediate sanding
  • Both products can be mixed to create the appropriate grey shade for topcoat / basecoat colour – refer to the baslac grey shade chart

BASF says baslac products offer a profitable, easy-to-use refinish solution in the body shop. For more information contact 02 8787 0100 or visit www.baslac.com/au.

BASF Named A General Motors Supplier Of The Year For 13th Time

General Motors (GM) has named BASF a 2017 GM Supplier of the Year for 13th time since 2002. The award is presented to suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting performance metrics for quality, execution, innovation, and total enterprise cost.

“This is an opportunity for General Motors to honour those suppliers who are truly the best of the best,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The automotive industry is transforming at an incredible rate. The relationships we have with our supply base means everything when it comes to delivering a strong vehicle line-up today and the cutting-edge vehicles and mobility services of tomorrow.”

Award winners represent companies who provide products and services to General Motors in the areas of vehicle components, supply chain and logistics, customer care and aftersales, and indirect services. With its broad array of colour solutions and modern paint processes, BASF’s Coatings division helps GM improve productivity and environmental performance. BASF provides its time and resource saving Integrated Paint Process to GM and supplies a majority of its plants in North America with its world class CathoGuard® 800 electrocoat, among other technologies.

“The long-standing and trustful relationship between GM and BASF is an example of what can be accomplished through a successful partnership,” said Teressa Szelest, President, Market and Business Development North America at BASF. “Together, we are collaborating to drive innovation, customer service, safety and sustainability, and open new pathways for the future of mobility.”