PPG Industries marked the startup of a new electronic materials group (EMG) manufacturing cell at its Springdale, PA, industrial coatings plant. This addition positions the company in the fast-growing global electronics market for conductive inks and coatings. The commissioning of the new cell marks the transfer of business and technology from industrial coatings producer Spraylat Corp., which PPG acquired late last year.
Among the range of conductive inks and coatings the EMG cell will produce are two new technologies – graphene and nanosilver conductive inks – for specialized electronics applications in the medical, automotive and telecommunications fields. The market for such technologies is expanding rapidly and is expected to continue growing for the next decade, according to Glenn Thornley, PPG operations director, industrial coatings.
“Conductive inks and coatings are exciting additions to our family of products,” Mr. Thornley said. “They provide us with an avenue to a completely new, large and fast-growing market. These inks and coatings are sold in relatively small increments, but they’re high-value products that continue to increase in demand around the world.”
The inks and coatings are used in making products such as medical devices, automotive airbags, flexible circuitry, electronic sensing devices and touch screens for an array of mobile phones and tablets. Employment at the site will increase by several manufacturing and R&D staff as a result of the new production.
PPG's Springdale plant manufactures solvent- and water-based coatings for commercial markets such as coil, extrusion and general industrial. The facility also houses technical and support operations for the company's industrial coatings business. The plant began operation in 1947 and employs about 200 people.