Revving Engines for ECOAT16

Mix business and camaraderie at the Rosen Centre Hotel in February.
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The ECOAT16 conference is back and Products Finishing is putting the pedal to the floor.

Coaters will return to the Rosen Centre in Orlando for a two-day electrocoat conference from February 15–17, presented by Products Finishing and the Electrocoat Association, The

"ECOAT 16 is a perfect mixture of top-notch programming and fun with colleagues where you will leave with extensive electrocoat knowledge and lasting relationships," Karen McGlothlin, ECOAT16 executive director, says.

With both social and professional opportunities to enhance understanding of the electrocoat market, ECOAT16 is more than just a business trip. ECOAT16 is a biannual electrocoating conference for coaters to meet with clients and colleagues in a comfortable and educational environment. This conference gathers professionals in a no-pressure atmosphere to inform and update today’s coaters and manufacturers.

This year, the conference will host a discussion about the production process surrounding Ford’s new F-150. The F-150 is made of lightweight aluminum alloy, presenting a new challenge for coaters with new adhesive bonding system requirements at lower operational costs. Keynote speaker Tim Weingartz from Ford Motor Company's global paint engineering division will touch on how the electrocoating industry adapts to lightweighting. Also be sure to check out The Auto Industry Beyond Black, Steel and V8s by keynote speaker Gary Vasilash from  Automotive Design & Production magazine.

The conference will begin with the poolside luau on Monday evening, hosted by the Electrocoat Association and Products Finishing, to catch up with customers and colleagues before the start of the conference. And don’t forget to take a pit stop at any of the company-sponsored showrooms at Tuesday’s Exhibit Night for a casual, yet informative night of food and entertainment. ECOAT16 has hosted a number of different exhibits on Exhibit Night including a casino night, a magician, a caricature artists, video race games and more.

Hitch a ride to ECOAT16 to learn more about the electrocoat industry's latest trends and technologies.

ECOAT16 Keynotes

Tuesday, February 16 — 8:30 a.m.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Today’s Challenges and Future Trends in Automotive Lightweighting, by Tim Weingartz, Ford Motor Company, global paint engineering division.

Weingartz will touch on Ford’s incorporation of more lightweight alloys in vehicle production and how that affects the electrocoat market. Ratcheting legislation continues to promote innovation in automobile manufacturing. The environmental gap for the 2025 gas mileage target is a nearly 60 percent increase over the 2012 CAFE target. Additionally, there is a 40 percent required improvement in carbon dioxide emission reductions for 2020.

As a result, Weingartz says all OEMs are looking at lightweighting vehicles through higher specific strength body structures. One solution in practice is the use of lightweight alloys like aluminum and magnesium. The challenge for Ford has been that these alloys require changes in the coating materials and processing. Longer term, lightweighting will continue to evolve as newer, higher specific strength materials are introduced and it will continue to challenge the coatings industry, with mixed substrates coating and new adhesive bonding systems at lower fixed source emissions and lower operational costs. Weingartz will discuss what changes, innovations and development the finishing industry will need to foster to continue lightweighting.

Wednesday, February 17 — 8 a.m.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS: The Auto Industry Beyond Black, Steel and V8s, by Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production magazine

Vasilash will present a keynote on the transformation of the automotive industry. Perhaps the most famous coating-related statement ever made in the auto industry is Henry Ford’s, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.” From 1914—1926, that was the case. Arguably, until recent times, an analogous statement could be made: “Any customer can have a car made any way he or she wants, so long as it is made of steel and has an internal combustion engine.” But that statement is now as quaint as Ford’s original. There is a huge transformation going on in automotive technology, from what it is made of, to what’s turning the wheels. We’ll look at what’s going on and why.


Schedule At-A-Glance

Monday, February 15

5–7 p.m. — Poolside Reception


Tuesday, February 16

7:30 a.m. — Registration and Information Open

7:30–8:30 a.m. — Continental Breakfast

8:30–10 a.m. — Conference Opening and Keynote Address

10:15–11:45 a.m. — Panel Discussion: Operating Costs

12–1:25 p.m. — Industry Awards Banquet

1:30–3:25 p.m. — Learning Stations

4 p.m. — Exhibit Night


Wednesday, February 17

7:30 a.m. — Registration and Information Open

7:30–8 a.m. — Continental Breakfast

8–9 a.m. — General Session and Keynote Address

9–10:15 a.m. — Panel Discussion: Troubleshooting

10:45–12 p.m. — Panel Discussion: Preventive Maintenance

12–1:15 p.m. — Lunch

1:30–3:25 p.m. — Learning Stations

3:30–4:30 p.m. — Closing Presentation and Remarks


For more information, visit ecoatconference.com.


Originally published in the January 2016 issue.