Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

We have a Painting Pro’s Perspective, 2014 – Three Tough Threats, which describes the very real possibility of contractors facing stormy conditions ahead. One of the potential threats is another round of material price acceleration. It was not too long ago that manufacturers uniformly increased costs blaming the up-charges on a shortage of titanium dioxide. It may be interesting to know that there is a legal case going on at the United States District Court in Maryland: Haley Paint Company v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company et al.

The 2010 federal suit alleges that four chemical companies, making up approximately 70% of the titanium dioxide market, have been secretly guiding titanium-dioxide pricing since 2002. The scheme was not uncovered until an investigation took place in 2008. The class of titanium dioxide buyers (at one point 300 companies were included), led by Haley Paint Co., Isaac Industries Inc. and East Coast Colorants LLC, was certified in 2012 after the presiding judge determined that the buyers had demonstrated a common antitrust injury.

Earlier this summer, DuPont Co. and Huntsman International LLC paid $72M and $6.5M respectively to settle the class actions against them. The case will proceed against the two remaining defendants: Kronos Worldwide Inc. and Millennium Inorganic Chemicals Inc*. In other legal news, the former lead based paint manufacturers (the defendants) have released a statement asserting that the Californian plaintiffs failed to prove the lawsuit. A judgment should be rendered no later than mid December.

In the industry story, Sherwin-Williams Comex Redo, we provide some detailed information and analysis on the major acquisition that was stalled by Mexican regulators, now, part of the deal has happened. In other news, the AGC says construction firms across the country are reporting that they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers. Seemingly in agreement, a representative from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) testified on the importance of career and technical education in the construction industry.

There is a new high-tech coating invention that may soon change the energy consumption equation. New Energy has pioneered the world’s first-of-its-kind technology capable of generating electricity on see-through glass windows and plastic: SolarWindow™. The company is working on applications for aircraft windows, fuselage surfaces, and pilot flight suits, helmets, and visors. The production of electricity on such surfaces and materials is possible when New Energy’s flexible, organic, electricity-generating coatings are applied. The result is aesthetically pleasing see-through surface, which can have uniquely tailored properties that generate electricity.

Another futuristic creation is a robot that works independently (without a ground controller) by “walking” on vertical surfaces. “The Vertwalker works autonomously with a fixed set of rules that make use of the internal sensors and keep it within a specified area on the wall. A pattern then emerges from these rules.” The Vertwalker is a machine that can move (and paint) on vertical surfaces. It can crawl on interior walls and take a walk up buildings.

Please contact us with comments, corrections or feedback.


Mark Casale, Editor


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