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Axalta Celebrates 150 Years of Innovation

In 2016, Axalta Coating Systems celebrates 150 years of creating innovative industrial coatings. Axalta’s heritage dates back to 1866 when its first products were developed in Germany and since then the company has grown into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of liquid and powder coatings.

“All of us at Axalta are excited to reach this important milestone in the history of our company,” explained Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver. “Over the next 12 months we will celebrate our past and build on our extensive knowledge and experience for the next 150 years. With nearly 13,000 employees and 120,000 customers in 130 countries, we will continue to use advanced technologies to develop next generation coatings while providing outstanding quality and service in the years ahead.”

From the earliest products that supplied European carriage manufacturers with colourful coatings in the nineteenth century, Axalta evolved to meet the needs of an automotive industry that flourished in the twentieth century. In the 1920s, Axalta introduced the first quick drying multi-colour lacquer line for automobile production in the U.S. Company scientists developed the L,a,b color equations that became a key analytic tool in the catalogue of colour science. In the subsequent decades, technology at Axalta evolved to produce coatings that were increasingly durable and productive. In the 1980s, the company ushered in the first more environmentally responsible liquid coating systems with the introduction of waterborne products.

Building on experience acquired with its original Spies Hecker® and Standox® products, Axalta branched out to provide refinish technicians with improved coating products and systems. In the 1990s, the Cromax®   family of waterborne products was introduced to automotive bodyshops. Handheld spectrophotometers and VINdicator™ colour tools were developed to help provide excellent colour matching which saves repair time and reduces waste.

As the needs across many industries evolved, so did Axalta’s portfolio of products. To serve a growing number of industrial customers, Axalta introduced Nap-Gard® powder coatings for oil and gas pipeline manufacturers. Today, both functional coatings and a wide array of decorative Alesta® powder coatings are used in thousands of applications. Voltatex® electrical insulation coatings enhance the productivity of motors and a host of electrical components. Vehicles ranging from heavy duty trucks and buses to trains and other rail stock rely on Imron® to protect their vehicles from the elements while using vibrant colours to build recognition for their brands.

“We have been expanding both the global capabilities and global reach of Axalta,” added Shaver. “We have accelerated our investments to expand production capacity in Germany, Brazil, China, Mexico and India. We announced construction of a new Global Innovation Center in Philadelphia, PA and began construction of an Asia-Pacific technology center in China that will keep our technology at the cutting edge. We’ve taken strong regional brands and introduced them globally. All of these measures, plus the many advances we are making in colour technology, are focused on meeting the needs of our customers well into the future.”