Latest News

18. December 2017

Ecoat18 Registration Opens

Registration is open for Ecoat18, a 2-day conference featuring electrocoat education and numerous networking opportunities all centered around maximizing productivity, quality and profitabilityy to enhance ecoat operations.

Visit for registration and information. Ecoat18 features a comprehensive lineup of educational programming and networking events. Over the course of this conference you will be exposed to everything about ecoat and have the opportunity to get all of your questions answered by industry leaders and experts.

Ecoat18 has changed locations and will be held in the Tampa Bay area, Florida at Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort. The resort is home to four championship golf courses, situated on a campus style resort with rooms, the conference sessions, and restaurants all onsite.

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Mankiewicz Coatings is undergoing a $30 million expansion project at its 10-acre Charleston Regional Business Center facility in Charleston, South Carolina. This expansion is quick, as the company only opened the initial $25 million, 90,000-square-foot facility in 2015.

“We thought we could stay in that building for the next 10 years, but literally after four years, we had to start looking for something bigger," says Fabian Grimm, managing director of the Charleston site. "We've experienced such fast growth since moving to Charleston—about 30 percent per year."

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Automotive manufacturer BelGee, a Chinese-Belarusian joint venture, opened a new plant in Belarus this month that will build SUVs for the Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Kazakh markets. BASF’s coatings division is supplying all the paint layers for the vehicles, including electrocoat, primer, basecoat and clearcoat, as well as plastic parts.

“We are proud that we have BelGee as a new customer for our comprehensive layer portfolio to further strengthen our position in the Eastern European market,” says Monika Pander, account manager for new business development with BASF Automotive OEM Coatings. 

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New Flyer of America, the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, will invest approximately $28 million for capital equipment and building preparations to establish a new part fabrication facility in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, that will include new coatings operations.

The 300,000-square-foot facility will fabricate parts for New Flyer transit buses and MCI motor coaches, and spare parts for NFI Parts, a business unit of the NFI Group. Production is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2018, and, once fully operational by December 2019, the facility expects to employ as many as 550 people.

“After extensive research, we chose Kentucky due to its available workforce, lower operating costs and central location relative to NFI Group’s other U.S. manufacturing plants,” says Wayne Joseph, New Flyer president.

The Shepherdsville facility will also help the company comply with the increased Buy America requirements under the 2015 FAST Act. “Targeted processes for this new facility include hose manufacture, injection molding and thermoforming plastics, metal fabrication and machining, powder coating, and electrical component manufacture, the majority of which is currently supplied by third parties,” Joseph says.

NFI Group currently employs 176 people at Parts Distribution Centers in Louisville and Hebron, Kentucky.

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The Twin Cities Chapter of Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) and the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota, are hosting the 10th Minnesota Paint and Powder Coating Expo on Thursday, March 15 at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota near St. Paul.

The Expo will include a vendor show, hands-on demonstrations and technical seminars. At the 2015 expo, over 400 participants attended the 17 technical seminars and a vendor show featuring over 50 exhibits.

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