“If it moves, we paint it. If it doesn’t move, we paint it”
Look around you. There is something in your vicinity that PPG Industries, a lead member of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, has helped produce.
PPG Industries supplies durable, innovative and specialty coatings for everything from cars, houses, stadiums, soft drink cans, to bridges and aeroplanes.
It may not be a household name but with $16 billion in worldwide revenue and 50,000 staff, the company is no less a major global – and Australian – success.
Represented in 60 countries, the company employs 1000 in Australia, including scientists and researchers in a leading centre located in Melbourne – and is one of the leading developers of so-called “intelligent” coatings worldwide. These include construction coatings that reduce harmful airborne pollutants from building materials, carpets or fabrics, for example, by converting them into water molecules and harmless inert gas.
Vice President ANZ and General Manager Architectural Coatings ANZ, Tim Welsh, says what is critical to the company’s present global success and future growth is research, development and innovation. And Australia is home to the company’s centre of excellence for research into coatings for harsh conditions.
“Australia has some of the harshest conditions in the world,” says Mr Welsh. “We love our steel roofing here. The coatings we produce for Colorbond, for BlueScope Steel, are not only light, but durable. They have a performance that go beyond 30 years so they are capable of withstanding extreme climate conditions.”
Innovation is key: employees are continually developing new sustainable technologies and constantly looking to a horizon 10 to 15 years out.
Tim Welsh, along with his role on the AAMC, is also Chair of the Chemicals and Plastics Innovation Network, a new industry-research collaboration based at Monash University and funded with support from the Victorian Government.
Many of PPG Australia’s R&D projects focus on adding value to their protective products. These are often active “smart” coatings that not only look good, but are able to reflect heat, self-sanitise, self-clean.
PPG is also bringing innovation to Australia through technological advancements in sustainable chemicals such as BPA-NI technology for use in consumer food and beverage packaging.
The company is a lead participant in a new industry initiative to keep paint out of landfill, to be known as “Paintback”. The scheme, to be launched later in May, will make it easy for paint users – DIY and professional painters alike – to dispose of paint responsibly.
Predominantly a paint business, PPG is also involved in flat glass and specialty chemicals. “We believe that we can meet the needs of all markets and all customers because of our diversity and our global capabilities.”
PPG manufactures protective marine coatings for large ships, stadiums, bridges; wood coatings for kitchen cabinetry and furniture; durable coatings for the motor vehicle industry and the aviation and aerospace industry.
The company’s motto, not surprisingly, is: “If it moves, we paint it. If it doesn’t move, we paint it.”