Automotive Conference Attracts Finishers, OEMs
Automotive finishers got a glimpse into future coating technology at a recent conference hosted by Atotech in Troy, Michigan.
Topics included automotive trends, quality certification trends and the future of mobility. Speakers included Atotech brand managers who discussed issues and concerns, as well as solutions. Gertjan van der Wal, president of general metal finishing for Atotech Group, opened the conference along with John Kochilla, vice president North America for Atotech.
Christian Richter, NASF executive vice president, also spoke at the conference to provide regulatory updates on issues facing the finishing industry.
Mike Eye, a director at Douglas Finishing in Alexandria, Minnesota, says he attended the conference to get a feel for what types of finishes are being currently adopted, and what finishes are being developed for adoption in the relatively near future.
“In order to properly plan for growth and expansion, I do not want to just consider slight improvements to existing finishing technology,” he says. “I want to be able to understand and evaluate the new developments in finishing technologies as possible additions to our capabilities. The first step is to just be aware of their existence.”
Phillip Brockman, president of Techmetals in Dayton, Ohio, says he decided to go to the conference to stay up to date on developing technology and network with other finishing shops and OEMs who attended. He particularly liked the short, 15-minute presentations that were scheduled throughout the two-day event.
“I wanted to reinforce what and why we do extra steps and monitoring to help reduce rework and improve chemistry performance,” he says. “I thought the 15-minute presentations were great because, if you wanted more, they had a room for further discussions. It informed you, but, if you did not have an interest, it was not too long if it did not apply to our needs.”
Enrique Mereles Jr., sales and marketing for Industrial Polishing Services, in San Diego, California, says there were a couple of reasons why he attended the conference.
“One of them was for the technical aspect of the conference, which included learning and hearing about various innovations with regard to finishes for the automotive industry, as well as getting updates on regulations and possible threats that the industry could face,” Mereles says. “Another was for the networking. It is a good place to connect with individuals who are in the same industry as we are and get their points of view. We are looking to grow our business and increase our market share in the automotive finishing sector, and this is a great place to network and learn.”
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