Innovations
Published: April 24, 2024
Innovations
Published: April 24, 2024

Beppe Casalini: Future of Mixing Paint Is Smart and Magical

There’s a touch of magic in the PPG MAGICBOX™ name but wait until you hear its story and the passion of one of its inventors – Beppe Casalini, our director of global digital business services. Together with his skilled team and worldwide network, Beppe drives innovation in the automotive refinish field and revolutionizes the approach to paint mixing processes in body shops.

Global Teamworking for Innovation

Beppe has worked with us for nearly three decades, with more than two of them in the digital product area. As director of global digital business services for our Automotive Refinish business, he collaborates with colleagues from around the world to develop products for body shops. It’s this dimension of his job that Beppe most enjoys.

When we create something, it has global inspiration embedded in it. Therefore, its usage isn’t limited to a specific country. Anyone from anywhere can benefit from our product.

Members of our digital team don’t let being in different countries and time zones keep them from meeting regularly virtually or in-person. Through workshops and other means, they discuss what works well and what doesn't while also sharing new ideas. Beppe believes that being able to rely on a diverse, distributed and well-connected team of experts has been critical to the growth of our digital solutions for the refinish industry.

"When we meet in Australia or China, we always visit customers to see how they work, trying to understand their issues and how to resolve them."

Designed on a Napkin

Understanding customer needs across the globe led Beppe and the team to the idea of digitizing our solutions for the refinish industry. That thought triggered the creation of the PPG LINQ™ digital ecosystem.

One of its components is our MagicBox body shop assistant, a tool that completely transforms the color mixing process. The story of the device’s creation is as adventurous as Beppe's worldwide travels.

My colleague, Geoff Anderson, and I sketched it on a napkin while we were having dinner in Melbourne. Geoff, our color solution manager from the Australian team, has some expertise in meddling with hardware. He has always enjoyed understanding how small automation machines work and improving them. One month after our dinner, Geoff sent me a video presenting the concept we had designed, and it was working! He revealed it in such an entertaining way that I eventually used that video to present what became the device to our senior leadership. We were two people from across the globe, able to align on something that eventually became a global solution.

The MagicBox device is a unique instrument that completely revamps the way paint mixing is approached. During the more traditional paint mixing process in body shops, a lot of "clunky cable work", as Beppe calls it, needs to be done. The MagicBox tool removes this need, since its software works with a cloud solution, connecting directly with the customer's tablet or smartphone.

Sustainable, Digital and Cloudy

The standard way of mixing paint happens in an explosion-proof mixing room at a body shop, typically using costly hardware to perform the mixing process properly. This consumes significant energy and requires regular updates.

"We removed everything that wasn't absolutely essential in a computer and placed it in a tiny device that lets you do the job just as well but in a more sustainable and effective way."

All the necessary information travels directly between mobile devices and the MagicBox device, which can be operated from anywhere.

Our LINQ ecosystem is built around the MagicBox device and other related components, such as PPG MOONWALK® automated paint mixing system and PPG DIGIMATCH™ spectrophotometer. This end-to-end digital solution is completely changing the approach to the color-mixing process in body shops around the world. After all, it was built by "taking the best ideas, innovation and challenges from customers in the countries and markets in which our Automotive Refinish business operates."

This is what Beppe and the team are able to do by meeting our customers across the globe, networking, and as he highlights, having a brilliant team to collaborate and share his ideas with.

I'd never be able to bring any of this together without the support of my friends and colleagues. Seeing all of our innovations come to life and make a difference across the world makes me absolutely #PPGProud.

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