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Bayer Announces Major Commitment to Powder Coatings; Formation of Global Powder Coatings Business

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 26 March, 2001  (Company News)
Bayer, already one of the world's largest suppliers of raw materials for coatings and colorants, today announced a major initiative in the powder coatings market, including the formation of a U.S.-based Global Powder Coatings Business Group.
'Our goal is to become a major raw materials supplier to the powder coatings market. We want to enhance our product and technical service offering to this key segment of our business,' said Dr. John L. Williams, an Executive Vice President of Bayer Corporation and President of the Coatings and Colorants Division. 'Bayer's long-term strategy is to become a leading player in environmentally friendly coatings technologies. And, powder coatings are a key component of that strategy, as well as a leading-edge market segment that has exhibited high annual growth rates.'

Bayer has already taken steps toward its goal.

Through its acquisition in the fall of 2000 of Sybron Chemicals Inc., and its RUCO Polymers Inc. subsidiary, Bayer has expanded its product portfolio to include Rucote® polyester resins that can be used in polyester/polyurethane powder coatings, and in non-polyurethane powder coatings.

'Bayer's Coatings and Colorants Division already supplied two of the three elements - isocyanates and pigments - needed to make powder coatings,' explained Randy Dearth, who has been tapped to head Bayer's new Global Powder Coatings Business Group.

'With the acquisition of RUCO, Bayer is now the largest supplier of polyester powder resin to the powder coatings industry in the United States. Now, we want to leverage Bayer's global distribution network to take this business worldwide,' he continued.

Bayer's powder coatings products are:

Crelan® Isocyanate Crosslinkers - A range of high-performance hardeners, or crosslinkers, manufactured in world-class facilities in Dormagen, Germany.
Rucote Polyester Powder Resins - A line of polyester resins manufactured in state-of-the-art reactors in Columbus, Ga. norganic and Organic Pigments - A wide range of pigments manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities in New Martinsville, W.Va., and Bushy Park, S.C.

Powder coatings are used in a wide range of applications such as outdoor furniture, automotive primers, automotive trim and body components, appliances and decorative metals. Powder coatings have excellent strength, durability and weathering characteristics. Additionally, because they do not contain solvents, they are more environmentally friendly.

'Our entry into the powder coatings market is a perfect fit with Bayer's strategy to be a leading player in environmentally friendly coatings technology. Because powder coatings are solvent-free, there are no volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions,' Dearth explained.

To support the business, Bayer plans to open a Global Research and Development Competency Center in Pittsburgh this year. The center will be complemented by existing laboratories and technical expertise in Columbus, Ga., and Leverkusen, Germany.

Additionally, work is underway to expand capacity at the Columbus, Ga., facility by 25 percent. This expansion is expected to be operational in 2002.

'These efforts demonstrate that we are strongly committed to the powder coatings industry and the success of our customers,' said Dearth.

'In addition to the convenience of dealing with a full service supplier, we will continue to provide the high level of technical service and support that has always been a hallmark of Bayer,' added Dr. Williams.
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