During the show, PPG introduced customers to its new EC530 En-V™ Performance Clearcoat as well as the company’s latest packaging design for its Envirobase® High Performance waterborne product.
PPG launched a new look for this product line in October. A modern, molecular-shaped design replaced the water drop image they have used since 2007.
“With the brand’s broad market acceptance around the world, we thought it was time to give Envirobase® High Performance a fresh look that would reinforce its foremost position in the industry,” said John Outcalt, Vice President of global automotive refinish.
He said the structured graphic represents innovation, color and technology. Although the packaging has been updated, there were no changes made to the technology of the products.
Since launching its two brands, Envirobase® and Aquabase®, in the United States in 2007, PPG has continued to develop waterborne products for the collision repair industry.
The company recently reached a milestone, with more than 10,000 of their customers using waterborne basecoat throughout the U.S and Canada. Waterborne was introduced in the United States and Canada to meet the low VOC compliance of 3.5 basecoat. Currently, the compliant areas include California, Delaware, Maryland, five counties in Utah and all of Canada.
Texas, Arizona and13 states in the Northeast, referred to as the Ozone Transportation Commission, are working toward implementing low VOC requirements as well.
“We now have more customers in the areas that don’t require low VOC using waterborne than we do in all of the compliant areas combined because it improves their productivity,” said Tim Jones, PPG’s Waterborne Segment Manager. He attributes this to the consistent color it offers customers, allowing technicians to complete vehicles more quickly.
“We’ve worked very hard to make sure our colors match our chips,” said Jones. He said when a technicians pulls out the color deck and it matches, it gives them the confidence that when it’s mixed together it will be the correct color.
PPG debuted its waterborne technology to the automotive OEM market in 1986. The company then acquired ICI’s refinish business, based in the UK, in 1997.
“Following that integration, we worked to get the best attributes of both of those two systems and that’s what we now call third-generation Envirobase® High Performance,” said Jones.
Over the years the company has been adding clears and primers that are engineered to work with the waterborne basecoat. Jones said as a leader in waterborne technology, they are working toward having the first waterborne fully integrated system over the next few years.
“Having a full waterborne system will continue to lower emissions to improve air quality,” said Jones. “We want to be able to offer the collision repair industry all of the products they need to be successful.”
One of these products includes their EC530 En-V™ Performance Clearcoat introduced in late October. “EC530 is a significant expansion of the Envirobase High Performance system,” said Jones. “This is an excellent, compliant clearcoat for our waterborne basecoat.”
He said it is easy to use will help shops improve their productivity and throughput. “It also consistently provides the beautiful finish, gloss and appearance expected of PPG products,” said Jones. “We believe these are features collision centers and their customers will find very attractive.”
EC530 uses a traditional two-coat application process. Offering four reducers, it works in a variety of temperature and humidity conditions. It has a short bake cycle of 25 minutes or can be aired dried in less than four hours. Jones also said it doesn’t require polishing and dirt nibs can be buffed after cool down.
Jones said the industry has always been geared for solvent borne products.
“Now that waterborne is gaining a higher percentage of the market, suppliers are also getting onboard with supplying better pigments, better additives and better resins for the waterborne market and that’s going to be better for everyone as well,” he said.
PPG plans to offer a waterborne sealer in 2015. Envirobase and Aquabase are registered trademarks and En-V is a trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.