This past April, Products Finishing magazine sent a contingent of staff members to Germany for the purpose of attending a trade show called “Surface Technology Plus Powder Coating Europe,” presented as a part of Hannover Messe 2004.
Following the show, PF staff members traveled throughout Germany, spending time with German supplier companies, such as EISENMANN Corporation and Walther Pilot, visiting a handful of finishing job shops. We will be profiling some of these job shops and their technologies in future issues of PF.
What motivated us to invest the time and money into this trip? The answer is that, although Products Finishing remains fiercely devoted to the goings-on in the North American finishing industry, there’s no denying that the industry is becoming more global in its scope every day. Here at PF, that has been evidenced by the amount of international correspondence that our clinic writers receive, the large volume of international inquiries received by companies and the fact that our web site, PF Online, sees a significant amount of traffic from dozens of countries, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Italy, to name a few.
One of the things we gained from this trip is a perspective, which we hope to pass along to our readers, on the unique social, environmental and economic conditions faced by European finishers, as well as the solutions that often come about as a result. For instance, many environmental initiatives, such as the End of Life Vehicle Directive and the demand for arsenic-free wood preservative technology originated in Europe, prompting suppliers to develop new technologies, some of which have since migrated to the United States. Of course, in other cases, the U.S. finishing community has been able to share its ingenuity and know-how with the rest of the world.
As you continue to look for ways to improve and expand your business, please know that you can look to PF for a look at what’s going on in Europe, and the rest of the world, for that matter. For our staff, the journey to Germany was both eye-opening and gratifying. My hope is that you’ll find our upcoming coverage of the trip to be equally as rewarding.
In Memory of Donald E. Kline
On May 7, 2004, the Products Finishing family said goodbye to Donald E. Kline, 61, Chairman of the Board and one of the owners of PF’s parent company, Gardner Publications, Inc.—following a long battle with cancer. Many of our advertisers knew Don on the phone, since he was also Director of Advertising.
The majority of our readers did not have the privilege to know Don personally. But for those of us at PF, he was much more than a name on our corporate masthead. An avid golfer and fisherman in his personal time, Don possessed a keen business acumen, and in his role as a leader in our organization, often served as our moral compass. Don’s mood always had a sense of buoyancy to it—a quality that was much admired by his friends and co-workers. He will be sorely missed by all of us here at PF.