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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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Retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott will be the opening speaker at the annual Florida Finishers Corp. Mid-Winter Conference & Exposition, to be held February 7-8, at the St. Petersburg Marriott in Clearwater, Florida.

After 27 years with the space agency, Stott retired from NASA in 2015, having flown in two spaceflight missions, including a long-duration stint on the International Space Station (ISS). She will be presenting “Earth From Space” at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, at the Florida Finishers event. (The keynote speaker for the session will be Beth Knauss from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Southwest District. Thursday’s keynote speaker will be Products Finishing Editor Tim Pennington.)

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Uyemura International President and CEO Anthony Revier has been recognized twice by his alma mater, the University of La Verne, a California institution widely known for its influential business and public management programs.

Revier recently was honored as one of the university’s 125 Most Notable Graduates at a ceremony commemorating its 125th anniversary. The awards were presented by university President Devorah Lieberman to alumni based on four criteria: The honorees had made unique and significant contributions to the university, had a distinguished history of community service, had excelled in business, and had created a positive work environment for their employees. The awards were announced at an alumni ceremony in October. 

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