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PaintExpo – Leading International Trade Fair for Industrial Coating Technologies

Preparation and finishing of automotive parts has become so specialized that a trade show dedicated to the painting of vehicles is attracting global interest. 

PaintExpo is the only trade expo dedicated to allowing suppliers to demonstrate new equipment and systems that improve efficiency on the production line, enhance quality and sustainability while – at the same time – cutting costs. PaintExpo is the only trade fair worldwide to focuse exclusively on the process chain for industrial coating technologies. The fourth show will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany, from April 17 to 20, 2012. 

Already, around 330 companies from 20 countries have signed on as exhibitors at the biennial fair. According to the organizers, 24% of the participating companies come from outside of Germany. The expo was conceived by FairFair, which was founded by Jürgen Haussmann in 2006. 

At the beginning of October 2011, the first PaintExpo Eurasia was held in Istanbul, Turkey. It attracted 98 exhibitors from 13 countries. Some 2 784 expert visitors from 35 countries journeyed to the Turkish metropolis. An estimated 16% of visitors came from outside of Turkey, according to the organizers.

Automotive Industries asked Jürgen Haussmann, managing director of FairFair, how the company had created an international, must-attend event in just three shows.
Haussmann: It is the concept of focusing exclusively on the process sequence for industrial coating, and providing in this field of surface technology, an extraordinarily broad and in-depth range of products and services which can be found nowhere else. This assures visitors, ranging from job shop coaters to managers of in-house coating facilities, that the exhibition program covers only offerings they are interested in. Furthermore, exhibitors know that all visitors are interested in industrial coating solutions, and thus their participation pays off. 

AI: To what do you attribute the fact that PaintExpo is becoming increasingly international? 

Haussmann: Word about the value PaintExpo provides to both visitors and exhibitors has travelled around the world, and the number of exhibitors and visitors from outside Germany has increased from event to event. Our advertising strategy has also become more international. We have also benefited from positive effects from the first PaintExpo Eurasia, which was held in Turkey. A number of exhibitors from that region have also registered for PaintExpo in Germany. 

AI: How many exhibitors are you expecting for PaintExpo 2012? 

Haussmann: Since the beginning of PaintExpo we have focused more on quality than on quantity. Despite this, an increase of about 10% or even 15% may be expected. This means roughly 370 exhibitors, and we already know that almost all international market and technology leaders, as well as the top names in the industry, will take part in PaintExpo. This allows decision makers from companies with in-house coating facilities and job shop coaters to collect relevant information for optimizing their processes during one trade fair visit. 

AI: Do you know what new developments will be showcased at PaintExpo 2012? 

Haussmann: Several new products to deliver energy and material savings, as well as greater process flexibility, will be introduced at PaintExpo 2012. Technologies to reduce the number of process steps are also in the pipeline. An example is replacing the conventional 3-coat system consisting of primer, base coat and clear coat with a primerless 2-coat finish. In the field of pre-treatment of metallic substrates, a trend to replace conventional zinc and iron phosphating by nano-based pre-treatment systems is taking shape. Also on show will be new application technique, metering systems and painting robots for example. Much of the new technology is geared to helping manufacturers and job shop coaters to meet the ever higher requirements for quality and cost effectiveness, as well as stricter VOC-regulations. 

AI: What does PaintExpo offer automotive manufacturers? 

Haussmann: Visitors from automotive manufacturers and suppliers can expect very interesting products and solutions. One example is an innovative shuttle conveyor system for transporting vehicle bodies through pre-treatment and cathodic dip coating. It can be individually adapted to the product with regard to dipping curves, mode of operation or holding time in the process basin. This new conveyor system allows operators to profit from simplified handling and compact design. The resultant energy savings also help cut costs. Another advantage is that it requires shorter process baths than facilities with conventional pendulum conveyors – thus saving space and reducing process fluid consumption. 

In the field of application systems, developments to be introduced at PaintExpo include electrical isolation systems located directly on the robot arm. They not only make a contribution to a higher transfer efficiency and material savings of hydro paints, but also allow for minimized use of rinsing agents and shortened color changeover times. When it comes to high-gloss clear lacquers, one of the focal points is increased scratch-resistance to extend the new car effect. Innovative developments will be on show at PaintExpo. They combine the advantages of “hard” inorganic substances and “soft” organic substances. There will, of course, be much more new technology on show. 

AI: Will PaintExpo also offer solutions for downstream processes? 

Haussmann: Indeed, this is a segment which we expect to become more and more important, especially for job shop coaters. The trend here is towards identifying painted/coated parts in-house. PaintExpo will introduce suitable pad printing and screen printing systems, as well as laser marking devices. Packaging materials for reliable, protected transport of coated parts are included in the trade fair exhibitors list. 

AI: What reaction did PaintExpo Eurasia get? 

Haussmann: We received very positive feedback. Almost all exhibitors said that their participation was a success, and that they hope PaintExpo Eurasia would take place regularly in the future. So, it seems, that PaintExpo Eurasia filled a gap in the exhibition landscape in Turkey and the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Proof thereof is that numerous companies have already announced their participation in the next PaintExpo Eurasia, which will take place from the 12th to the 14th of September 2013.


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