Innovations
Published: March 30, 2022
Innovations
Published: March 30, 2022

Anne Leads Our Powder Revolution with PPG Envirocron® UltraX™

Anne Banuls is PPG powder business manager EMEA based at our headquarters in Rolle, Switzerland. Bringing many years of expertise with her, she joined us just two years ago to help build PPG's powder development strategy. This year, Anne is leading the launch of our revolutionarily sustainable powder product range: Envirocron UltraX.

I'm a pure “powder product”. I’ve been in the powder world for 25 years. It's a special technology, and I joined PPG to make powder in EMEA successful.

Sustainable Powder Technology

Anne explains that powder is a pure solid coating specific for surfaces like metal, aluminum and galvanized steel. Its sustainability is making it increasingly popular. Its application involves the electrostatic spraying of a layer onto surfaces that are then heated to 180-200 °C.

The customer buys 20 kg of powder, they use 20 kg of powder. No waste, no gas emission. The powder coating technology is very, very sustainable.

Anne tells us powder coating is everywhere, on our lamps, chairs, ovens and windows, and our Envirocron range is already being used by multiple successful companies. These include agricultural machinery, which is helping give sustainability the tractor factor!

The Envirocron Powder Coatings Product Range

Despite already being, as Anne puts it, “very, very sustainable”, the team at our recently acquired company, Wörwag in Germany, took things one stage further with Envirocron UltraX: our brand new ultradurable low bake powder topcoat.

The lower object temperature requirement (just 150-160 °C) means the process consumes 10-15% less energy than a standard product line. And with the speed-cure option (keeping temperatures higher), customers can reduce production times by those 10-15%, increasing capacity.

The high level of process reliability removes the risk of under or over-baking, meaning less waste. Envirocron UltraX is also ultra-durable, the color has a longer life, even in extreme weather.

Normally, this durability would require certain additives and, therefore, necessitate a special label. But UltraX is low-bake, ultra-durable and has no labeling, thus completely safe for the user and the environment!

Under the Envirocron product portfolio, that got strengthened through our recent acquisitions, we have three main lines:

  1. Primeron, our epoxy primer, which provides protection against corrosion and aggressive climates, and will come to the market in the coming weeks.

  2. Our epoxy polyester series P8 is great for interiors (like on washing machines, ovens, tables, lamps, etc.) and provides a good compromise between corrosion protection and UV resistance.

  3. Our P4 and P7 polyester series (standard or ultradurable) is perfect for outdoor use (garden furniture, aluminum profiles on verandas, windows).

The Importance of Listening and Agility

For Anne, business agility is crucial in the current times to be ready to adapt quickly to the changes happening in the market and around the world every day.

We need to listen to our customers. We have to understand raw material availability, costs increases and supply chains, and secure our profitability to ensure sustainable business growth.

Anne tells us that part of her job is internal – focusing on the right allocation of resources to produce the right products. A big part of her time is spent with the sales organization and with customers “to understand where our added value lies and develop new opportunities”.

Now that she can, she has started visiting the Wörwag team in Korntal-Münchingen, Germany, the team in Milan, Italy, and our production site in Cieszyn, Poland.

Feeling Good in Her New Home

Before we got to know her, Anne played handball for 20-25 years.

It's a team sport. You win as a team. You build together, share a vision. That’s important to me. I still have a lot of friends from this time of my life.

She also likes being in nature, running, orienteering, swimming and doing improvisational theatre. No wonder Anne is happy in her new home of Lausanne, where she lives with two of her three children, the oldest being at university.

It’s a really lovely place with a lot of nature, mountains and lakes. For me, the balance between my job and personal life is very important. I feel very good in Switzerland.

“I Found What I Was Looking For”

Anne remembers when she first came to Switzerland from France that her truck was stopped at the border, so she arrived with nothing. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic, too, so things at work were immediately challenging. She had been with her previous company for 25 years, and now, she was ready for a change.

PPG seemed really willing and solution-oriented, even in the face of a lot of different blockers. My expectations were fulfilled. I found what I was looking for.