On the cusp of COATING 2012, Metal Finishing magazine caught up with Dave Lurie co-executive director of the Powder Coating Institute (PCI), to get his thoughts on the show and industry trends in general. Following are excerpts of that interview:?
Q: After working with NACE for two years to merge the industrial coatings world with the performance coatings world, the Powder Coating Institute has decided to return to its roots and present its own event. What new changes are in store for vendors and attendees?
A: In just three short days in October, attendees can learn more about the coatings industry than anywhere else in the world! COATING 2012, held in at the America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo., from October 9-11 is the only Exhibition and Technical Conference that is dedicated to liquid and powder industrial coatings.
The Technical Conference has expanded with more than 56 hours of programming that includes powder coatings, industrial coatings, architectural coatings, specialty coatings, coatings for military applications, surface preparation, sustainability and operator training. The speakers represent the most experienced group of technical experts ever assembled. They can answer questions on the advantages and disadvantages of various technologies.
In addition to the Technical Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to visit and speak to experts from nearly 100 of the leading suppliers of coating technology and services. The exhibitors are ready to help solve the most challenging coating applications. Some of the technologies represented include application equipment, booths and recovery equipment, liquid and powder coatings manufacturers, cleaning and pretreatment, consultants, equipments accessories, ovens, and pollution control equipment–and even a new Custom Coaters Row.
COATING 2012 features exciting events such as a Live Auction on the floor of the Americas Center in downtown St. Louis. In addition, there is a Virtual Painter’s Competition, Happy Hour on the Show Floor, a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and a Downtown Architectural Walking Tour–all designed to give attendees key networking opportunities.
Also, the Product Showcase will display featured products and services on the Show Floor. Products and services launched in the last 12 months will be eligible for the Product Innovations Award, which recognizes the top innovational product of the year. Attendees can visit the Product Showcase to quickly learn about the latest technologies.
In addition, attendees and exhibitors can connect and engage with coating professionals on the COATING 2012 website (www.coating-show.com) before, during and after the show. They can also download the special COATING 2012 app (called ChirpE) from the COATING 2012 website to help navigate the show and the St. Louis area and catch up with everything on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well.
For exhibitors, COATING 2012 now has more partners and sponsors than ever before, including the Powder Coating Institute, Electrocoat Association, Porcelain Enamel association, Canadian Finishing & Manufacturing Magazine, CoatingsPro,Finishing.com, FinishingIQ, Innovadex, Machinetools.com, Powder Coated Tough, Metal Finishing, Products Finishing, Powdercoatingonline.com and the Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. With our partners, Coating 2012 has been promoted to more than 1.6 million professionals–far exceeding 2011–which is a major benefit to exhibitors.
Q: In that same vein, COATING 2012 will be held in a different venue: St. Louis, Mo. What are your expectations for this site compared to past years when the show was held in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, etc.?
A: Like Indianapolis and Cincinnati, St, Louis is an excellent city to attract “drive-in” traffic. The state of Missouri hosts nearly 100 custom coaters and is bordered by many key manufacturing states. St. Louis is the “Gateway” city, and our expectation is that it will attract additional traffic from farther west than Indianapolis or Cincinnati.
Q: Aside from the “national” convention and smaller “regional” conferences, what other educational opportunities are you promoting or organizing? (i.e., webinars, online classes.)
A: Professionals interested in learning about the broad range of workshops and webinars should visit the Powder Coating Institute website, www.powdercoating.org. In addition to the PCI Annual Meeting and the popular Custom Coater Summit, we were pleased to partner with The Powder Coating Research Group to co-sponsor the extremely successful Powder Coating Summit that will be held May 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.
Q: Looking at PCI’s membership, describe some of the initiatives currently in place to retain and/or boost enrollment.
A: The Powder Coating Institute continues to expand its membership by offering superb services and opportunities. These include substantial discounts on publications and materials not found anywhere else: online Buyers Guide, access to the PCI laboratory and testing, technical guidance, certification, regional workshops, training through the Hands-On Workshop program, on-site training, subscription to Powder Coated Tough (PCT) magazine, the ability to use the PCI logo, and for 2013 new members will receive a free page profile in the PCT digital edition and all members will have the ability to post new products on the monthly PCT eNewsletter.
Q: Similarly, are you seeing more companies that specialize in plating or other specialty finishing services expand into paint/powder coating technologies?
A: Yes. Companies are looking to expand their finishing platform, and powder coating offers a cost-effective, tough, sustainable and environmental solution to coat and protect products. Powder coating is currently used in appliances, architectural, furniture, automotive/transportation, agriculture & construction, lawn & garden, HVAC, electrical, general metal finishing and functional markets. In addition, new application technologies and formulations are continuing to expand the capabilities of powder coatings.
Q: A newly released Global Industry Analysts report projects the worldwide market for coatings will reach $107B by the year 2017. Based on your own research, what is your outlook for the North American powder coatings market for the mid- and short-term?
A: There is proprietary research available that indicates continued steady growth of the powder coating market for the next few years. For the long term, strong growth depends on the overall economy as well as technological developments in the market.
Dave Lurie is the Co-Executive Director of the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). In this interim position, Mr. Lurie brings more than three decades of success in management, sales, and marketing primarily with the publishing company, BNP Media. His career at BNP Media included Publisher of magazines such as Paint & Coatings Industry, Industrial Heating, Process Heating, Adhesives & Sealants Industry, Ceramic Industry and Group Publisher of more than 23 other titles during his career. He also served on the boards of the Metal Treating Institute and Industrial Heating Equipment Association.