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. 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,” said 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.”
Previously known as DuPont Performance Coatings, the business was relaunched as Axalta in 2013.
From the earliest products that supplied European carriage manufacturers with colorful coatings in the 19th century, Axalta has evolved to meet the needs of an automotive industry that flourished in the 20th century. In the 1920s, Axalta introduced the first quick drying multi-color 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 color 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 body shops. Handheld spectrophotometers and VINdicator color tools were developed to help provide excellent color matching, which saved repair time and reduced 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 colors 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, 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 color technology, are focused on meeting the needs of our customers well into the future.”