ECS 2007 Review

By Tim Wright, Coatings World Editor | 06.17.09

The European Coatings Show remains the paint and coatings industry's top event. This year, the show drew 22,791 attendees to Nurnberg, while 748 attendees took part in the Nurnberg Congress.

With 838 exhibitors from 43 countries and more than 22,000 visitors from approximately 100 countries, the European Coatings Show (ECS) proved once again to be the global paint and coatings industry’s biggest attraction. The numbers topped what had already been a gigantic event (687 exhibitors from 36 countries in 2005 with more than 19,000 attendees from 87 countries).

“Compared with the previous event, there are 15 percent more visitors and 22 percent more exhibitors on 17 percent more display space,” said Richard Krowoza, exhibition director at NürnbergMesse. “Whether raw materials, laboratory and production equipment, testing and measuring equipment or services, nowhere else in the world is the range of products on display as extensive as in Nürnberg.”

“All the big names in coatings and the related segments like adhesives and construction chemicals were present in Nürnberg to promote the future progress of the whole industry in the long term,” said Esther Schwencke, head of events at Vincentz Network, which is responsible for the show, along with NürnbergMesse.

The internationality of the European Coatings Show has also increased in terms of both exhibitors and visitors, according to the show organizers. The share of international exhibitors rose from 57 percent in 2005 to 60 percent at this year’s event.

The largest exhibiting nation after Germany was the People’s Republic of China with 90 exhibitors, followed by Great Britain (60), the Netherlands (40), Italy (39) and France (34). The international share of visitors has risen from 56 percent two years ago to the present 59 percent. Besides Germany, the visitors came to Nürnberg mainly from Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Great Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and Belgium, but North America and Asia were also strongly represented, according to Vincentz.

Conference Under One Roof

The European Coatings Show’s adjoining technical conference, the Nürnberg Congress, also drew impressive numbers. According to show organizers, altogether 748 participants from 45 countries attended the Nürnberg Congress.

All the scientific fields involving coatings, paints, adhesives, construction chemicals and printing inks were combined under the common roof of the Nürnberg Congress in 2007, which now covers all the formulation subjects relevant to ECS. More than 150 scientists from companies, institutes and universities all over the world presented their work on a variety of subjects.

The congress program contained 12 sessions on coating raw materials, six sessions on printing inks, adhesives and construction chemicals, four sessions on process and production equipment and testing and measuring equipment, and three sessions on the issues of licensing and technology transfer, raw material purchasing, and REACH and its consequences.

The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Virgil Percec, University of Pennsylvania, who presented, “A Possible Breakthrough in Living Radical Polymerization (LRP) Methods, Enabling Ultrafast and Industrially Viable Syntheses of Novel Polymers with a Controlled Design.”

Another highlight of the congress was the purchasing session, which discussed current trends in raw materials prices among others. The growing importance of emerging markets, including the challenges and dangers associated with purchasing coatings raw materials in the Far East, was also discussed.

In the adhesives and sealants session, Rudolf and Stephan Hinterwaldner of Hinterwaldner Consulting & Partner, reported that global growth of the adhesives and sealants market is 3 percent.

In the printing inks session, questions addressing the challenges that govern the further development of printing inks were explored including the state of flexible printed electronics. Dr. Erich Frank, Flint Group Europe and session chairman, said that the printing industry overall is prospering after a period of consolidation and that inks for packaging and advertisement materials are performing particularly well.

In addition to the program offered by the Nürnberg Congress, products and services were also presented for ECS visitors at the approximately 160 presentations given by exhibitors at three forums.

The product segments were dominated by coatings raw materials with 53 percent, followed by printing ink raw materials (26.1 percent), adhesive raw materials (20 percent) and laboratory and production equipment (17 percent), according to show organizers.

BASF Paper Wins European Coatings Award

This year’s European Coatings Award for the best congress paper, which is sponsored by the European Coatings Journal, was presented to Dr. Rolf Dersch and his team from BASF AG. Dr. Dersch received the exclusively designed research award and the associated check for €2,000 at the opening ceremony of the congress.

Dr. Rolf Dersch of BASF accepts the European Coatings Award at the opening of the Nürnberg Congress.
“This is a tremendous honor that gives me great personal satisfaction,” said Dr. Dersch upon accepting the award.

The jury thought his paper, “Water-Based Hybrid for High Gloss Utilizing Structural Principles of Solvent-Based Alkyds” was especially pioneering.

It took approximately three years to bring this water-based alternative product, which has gloss properties comparable to those of a solventborne product, to market-readiness. A key motivation for developing this new product, according to Dr. Dersch, was the environmentally sound properties.

“Coatings produced with the new binder can already meet future environmental standards today,” said Dr. Dersch.