MINNEAPOLIS — The Valspar Corp., Minneapolis, has expanded production capacity of its automotive refinish coatings products at U.S.-based manufacturing facilities. Recent technology and equipment upgrades at locations in Garland, Texas, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have significantly increased manufacturing volumes, and filling and storage capacity for select brands within the Valspar Automotive portfolio, including DeBeer® Refinish, Valspar® Refinish, Prospray® Finishes and Matrix® Automotive Finishes.

New technology and equipment automates a number of processes and delivers immediate and greater efficiencies, as well as enhanced quality control, faster filling and mixing times, safer workplaces, and more environmentally friendly practices. “Not only are we producing the necessary volume to serve customers and the growing market, but we’re improving ergonomics and overall safety protocols for our employees,” said Dave Brunori, Business Director, Valspar Automotive, North America.

Expansions at the Garland and Pittsburgh sites represent a $10 million project — the largest of its kind by Valspar Automotive to date. The added production capacity will result in a 200% increase in output of automotive refinish brands. “The stage is set for our commercial organization to deliver products on time and at the required level of quality to grow our business over the next five years,” added Brunori.

As a result of both expansion projects, Valspar Automotive has not only increased production in North America, but also storage space by approximately 300%.

“With automated, in-line equipment there’s little-to-no manual intervention in the production process, improving consistency in filling and packaging cans,” said Sue Byrne, Global Director of Supply Chain at Valspar Automotive. The Garland facility alone went from filling 450,000 cans to 1.3 million annually, with the capability to grow to more than three million.

In Pittsburgh, activator and hardener production has nearly doubled. “We’re filling more cans and we’re doing it more efficiently,” said Byrne.

The expansions are part of the final stages of integrating the automotive refinish coatings business of Quest Specialty Chemicals, which Valspar acquired in June 2015. Valspar has consolidated all of its automotive coatings research and development, manufacturing and distribution at three Centers of Excellence — Garland, Pittsburgh and Massillon, Ohio.

The three facilities develop and produce refinish products for some of the most popular brands in the industry, including DeBeer Refinish, Valspar Refinish, Matrix Automotive Finishes, U.S. Chemical & Plastics and Prospray Finishes, as well as several private label brands.