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Executive Insights

How long have you been in the coatings industry? I have been in coatings for most of my life. I have worked for distributors. I worked for 16 years for BASF before I was headhunted to take on the job I have now got with Arch. And actually, I have been with Arch for three and a half years. Arch coatings recently launched the Sayerlack Tintometric System and HD coatings systems, what is important about these innovations? The Wood Stain Plus system, which is the translucent colour matching system you

intervention and it takes a very long time. With this new system, you can match a stain in 20 minutes, where previously it would take you a minimum of half a day. So it’s a tremendous improvement in terms of efficiency for the customers. The HD system is something different. The HD system enables us to reach the level of hardness that we thought previously was only possible using nanotechnology, using a completely revolutionary new type of technology that we pioneered inside our research and development labs. It is a technology for which the customer will pay only a small price premium to achieve very high

& s n i Ga

Stains Ian Guy Hobday, Global Managing Director Coatings,  Arch Sayerlack Coatings Srl  was in Singapore recently  for Arch’s Asian distributor  conference. Goh Tz’en  Long caught up with him  for an insider’s view of the  latest Sayerlack products  and the Asian coatings  market.


are talking about, is the first of its kind in the world. It enables us to match stains which is an industry first and to do so automatically. We actually demonstrated it this afternoon at our Asian distributor conference and I could swear that we had 10 distributors in the room and we took 10 orders, because the system is just incredible. It is the first time as well, I think, that anyone has been able to get a patent on something like this. The technology is very unique and we are expecting it to take the market by storm, never before has it been possible to do stains automatically. Previously, colour matching stains required human

levels of durability or scratch resistance in a paint film. Everybody had been turning to nanotechnology. The problem with nanotechnology is that it is incredibly expensive. You can see the cost of a paint film tripling or quadrupling if you use nanotechnology. We have been able to get the same level of scratch resistance by using this new technology, in-house development, which means that the customers are going to expect to pay a 10 or 15 percent price premium, and it arrives at a level of scratch resistance; we’ve had it certified to 6H, which is the highest in the marketplace, and the

Executive Insights

difference between this paint product and anything else that claims to be high scratch resistance on the market, is it does have certification by independent laboratories of tests for the levels of scratch resistance and that is also something of an industry first. And it is something that we would like to see continue. Whenever we bring something new to the market, we want to be able to prove what we claim it can do, by having it independently tested first. How does the Tintometric stain matching system actually work? The problem with matching stains is, the stain has to be, let’s say transparent, because you are not seeing just colour, you are also seeing the colour of the wood. Otherwise, it is an opaque finish and you can’t see the colour of the wood at all. So with the stain, you got to be able to see the colour of the wood, and you try to change the colour of that wood, but you got to be able to see it. So, to keep it simple, essentially what our system does is, it measures the colour of the wood, and it measures what you want the wood to look like afterwards or the final finish. And it measures the gap between the two, and therefore it creates the colour that you need to produce for the translucent film. How sophisticated do you think is the Asian coatings industry and how long do you think it will take for this technology to be accepted? I think all the countries in Asia have different strengths and weaknesses. And for some companies it depends on how you define Asia even. For us, it goes from India, across to Japan, and all the way down to Australia, so it is an enormous area made up of incredibly sophisticated and incredibly unsophisticated markets. So there is something there for everyone. The technology that we launched today

through our Asian distributor conference, essentially both the HD System and the Wood Stain Plus system; all of them saw an opportunity to use that, whether they were operating in basic markets or whether they were operating in sophisticated markets. It is a tremendous opportunity in terms of quality of colour matching, to use the Wood Stain Plus system. It does something that no one has ever done before.

talking about over the last couple of days, there seems to be a return to high gloss bright colours which is something we all thought was dead and buried, but it seems to be coming back. So, bright reds and bright blues, always seem to look a little bit gaudy to me but I’m not the person buying the furniture, so I don’t have to worry about it. But there seems to be a trend back towards very high gloss finish and bright colours.

How does Sayerlack aim to be more environmentally friendly in terms of its latest product innovations? When we launched the Wood Stain Plus system at our Asian conference, we were launching something that is fundamentally a water-based system. So they are water-based stains. We will add solvent-based stains to it later, but at the moment, it’s a water-based stain system. All of the products that we developed, meet the European legislation for VOC content and environmental protection as well. And the European legislation is the most stringent legislation in the world today. We have pioneered waterbased products starting from 18 years ago. We were the first people to launch water-based wood coatings and we will continue to be the market leaders as far as the sale of water-based wood coatings in Europe is concerned, which means the technology that we’ve got is cutting edge technology. Very few of our competitors have got anything anywhere near what we are capable of producing. Over 35 percent of our sales today are made with waterborne products.

Can you tell us about the UV Dual Cure system? That is actually unique to us. That is an incredible system. UV systems are great for high throughput furniture manufacturers where they need to get the film to dry as quickly as possible. And the problem with the UV system is traditionally you can only use it on a flat surface because UV lamps can’t go around corners. What we were able to do is combine together UV drying with isocyanate drying or you could say hardened with isocyanate, which means you get a combination of two processes curing a product, and therefore you can use it on panels that are not absolutely flat, and still achieve incredibly fast drying time, and that has really taken the UV curing industry by storm.

What are the latest trends in the coatings industry in terms of design? There continues to be a strong emphasis on this European ‘soft touch’ wood finish which is very nice. But we have seen recently and particularly, we are

Has the use of isocyanate been reduced? We have done better than that. We actually have the lowest level of free monomer in any isocyanate hardener available in the market, 0.01 percent. There is nothing else like that, which means that the product is as safe as it can be to use. We would never recommend anyone to use it without wearing an air fed respirator, but at that level of free monomer, it is as safe to use as it is to use nitrocellulose or any other activated product. FDM



Ian guy hobday, arch coatings