Axalta Supports Agoria Solar Team At World Solar Challenge

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.

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.

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’s Three Premium Global Refinish Brands Approved By Porsche

Porsche has added Cromax to its list of approved car paint repair brands, making all three of Axalta’s premium global refinish brands – Cromax, Spies Hecker and Standox – authorised for use by Porsche dealerships and body shops worldwide. Axalta has held technical approval with Porsche for more than 20 years with Spies Hecker and Standox.

The rolling approval ensures that Porsche cars are repaired with the highest quality products using the most modern technologies.

“We are delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with Porsche AG with the inclusion of Cromax in the Porsche AG Paint Manual,” said Jürgen Knorr, Director Key Accounts for Axalta’s Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The highly productive and value-added paint systems offered by Cromax are a perfect fit for Porsche approved body shops and dealerships to enable repairs that maintain the value of a vehicle and to ensure strict warranty requirements are met.”

Cromax Appoints Kevin Torfs New EMEA Brand Manager

Axalta has appointed Kevin Torfs as the Cromax Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The announcement coincides with the brand celebrating its fifth year in its incarnation as Cromax.

“At Cromax, we advocate productivity in everything we do,” said Torfs. “We have an esteemed history that dates back nearly 100 years. And, over the last five years, Cromax has gone from strength to strength thanks to the hard work and determination of everyone across the region. I look forward to continuing this momentum, ensuring that Cromax is a brand that drives productivity for its end users at all stages of the paint repair. Our next chapter will be nothing but exciting.”

Torfs has held various roles in Cromax for over 13 years, most recently including Digital Marketing Specialist. He is also a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt for Axalta, the company behind the global refinish brand and a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings.

The brand says it is focused on continuing to bring innovative products and services to its body shops, especially energy saving processes which help body shops with their overall energy costs.

“Our attention is also squarely on everything digital,” Torfs explains. “From the most advanced tools and processes to value-adding services, our body shops can achieve improved productivity and optimised workflows.”

Training is another area Torfs is passionate about.

“Continuous professional development is vital, because it doesn’t matter at what stage in their career a refinisher is, our industry is always evolving, so staying on top of new techniques and new products will ensure the best work in the body shop,” he says.

Torfs takes over from Dries Van den Bergh, who moves to a full-time role as Customer Relationship Management Leader for Axalta.

New Cromax Accelerator Speeds Up Air-Drying

Cromax has developed a new accelerator that helps Cromax High Productive Surfacers dry faster at ambient temperatures.

High Productive Accelerator AZ1050 changes the drying properties of High Productive Surfacer 1051R (white) and High Productive Surfacer 1057R (black) to cut air-drying times from 60 minutes to 30 minutes at 20°C, which is especially effective during the cooler months of the year.

“It’s important to us to support our refinishers’ aim of increased throughput and productivity, and the introduction of a dedicated High Productive Accelerator for our High Productive Surfacers certainly does just that,” said Jim Iliopoulos, Axalta’s Product and Technical Manager for Australia and New Zealand. “High Productive Accelerator AZ1050 is mixed with the High Productive Surfacers, for up to three coats, wet-on-wet with no flash-off times. This eliminates between 10 and 20 minutes of unproductive flash-off time, significantly improves the speed of overall application and drying, and makes the refinish process more efficient and economical, whilst also helping to save energy.”

The High Productive Surfacer is mixed with the VHS Fast Activator XK203 and High Productive Accelerator AZ1050 in a ratio of 5:1:2. This accelerated primer system has excellent vertical stability.

High Productive Surfacer 1051R (white) and High Productive Surfacer 1057R (black) are part of the ValueShade concept, which helps to deliver the optimal undercoat for every topcoat colour. Different shades of grey are matched to different topcoat colours, delivering a combination that requires less paint. All Cromax colour retrieval tools specify the right ValueShade for every topcoat, which can minimise preparation time, increase colour hiding, decrease paint consumption and help to reap improved productivity and profitability.

Cromax Launches New Ultra Performance Energy Clear

Cromax, one of the premium brands of Axalta Coating Systems, has launched a new high-quality, low-energy clear that dries in five minutes at 60°C. The new Ultra Performance Energy Clear CC6700 is the most productive clear available from Cromax. Parts can be assembled after only 15 minutes, and it also dries at room temperature, so body shops need very little energy to work with it.

Body shops no longer have to choose between a top appearance and high output with CC6700, they can have both. Extensive field tests of Ultra Performance Energy Clear CC6700 have demonstrated high productivity and an exceptional, mirror like finish. Compared to conventional clear coats, CC6700 significantly reduces the energy consumption of a typical paint job either in a short bake cycle or in curing at room temperature.

“We wanted to offer body shops a practical solution to improve their work processes,” said John Nettleton, Cromax Product and Colour Manager for Australia and New Zealand. “Based on a new resin technology, it is the only top appearance clear coat to dry this quickly. It will help body shops maximise their output, whilst making significant energy savings without any extra investment.”

The new Ultra Performance Energy Clear CC6700 is conveniently available in a five-litre pack size. It is easy to apply in 1.5 coats and be used in conjunction with one of two Cromax activators – the AR7702 Energy Activator Standard or AR7703 Energy HT/HH Activator.

It is now available from your nearest Cromax distributor or visit www.cromax.com.au/CC6700.