AKRON, OH – APV Engineered Coatings started 2021 ready to build on the gains it experienced during one of the most challenging years in recent history. The company, an essential business that remained open and operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoted to help meet public health needs while continuing to serve its customer base with specialty chemical products that contributed to the economy and kept other businesses moving forward.
"During years like this, many companies fail to realize the gains from intangible assets and instead, chase turnover ratios and revenue," said David Venarge, Chairman, APV Engineered Coatings. "Throughout 2020, one of our largest achievements was exercising our character as a company. Although integrity, empathy, transparency, humility, and grit may be difficult to measure, they are equally powerful and essential to a growing business."
APV's manufacturing headquarters in Akron became an EPA-Registered Facility in 2020, receiving its designation as EPA Establishment No.96197-oh-1. The registration certifies the company's production of pesticides and active ingredients in a designated facility. In other facility news, the company also completed construction on its 20,000-square-foot warehouse, which was built to house materials and packaging necessary to support the increase in production volume.
In March 2020, as the COVID pandemic swept the world and demand for cleaning and sanitizing products skyrocketed, APV's field service engineering team designed and built a new multi-head filling line inside a renovated 6,000-square-foot area of the facility to be used for disinfectant production. The line, which is still in operation, has produced over one million gallons of surface disinfectants under private label for several customers that needed to quickly increase capacity to meet critical health and safety needs.
"We were honored to contribute to the emergent public health crisis by helping disinfectant manufacturers ramp up their production output," said Mike Couchie, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, APV Engineered Coatings. "Our new, safe manufacturing and filling line was operational in record time to streamline throughput and sustain quality for our contract partners."
APV's private label and contract manufacturing, which grew 30% year-over-year in 2020, represents 31% of APV's total revenues, an increase of 9% over 2019.
APV continued its focus on creating new custom chemical formulations for a range of unique applications in 2020. For example, the company:
- Formulated innovative VYNGUARD® Durable Water Repellent (DWR) hydrophobic coatings for outdoor fabrics, clothing and personal protective apparel;
- Expanded VYNGUARD Anti-Microbial coating chemistries with extreme resistance to disinfectants and cleaners for vinyl wallcovering, contract seating and other applications;
- Introduced a new UV-curable technology in the VYNGUARD brand for marine and automotive fabric, such as covers, Bimini tops, as well as convertible and jeep soft tops;
- Customized formulations under the KAPGUARD® line of high-performance PVDF-based coatings for building products made of polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, fiberglass reinforced plastic and other materials; and
- Created a highly unique anti-microbial coating for high-purity air filtration systems.
In addition to the successful launch of these new products, APV saw sales of existing products increase in 2020. The company's NeverFade® brand enjoyed a 205% year-over-year sales growth, helping the company's total portfolio of architectural building products achieve a 15% year-over-year sales growth. The architectural building products portfolio now represents 10% of APV's total revenues, a growth of 2% over 2019.
Industry Leadership and Accolades
APV demonstrated flexibility in 2020 as many industry events and conferences switched to online formats. APV, along with its supplier partner Arkema Inc., worked with the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) to develop a new specification that raises the bar for color retention. The SSPC Paint 47 standard was officially approved and issued at the end of December.
"This is the first standard for high-performance, field-applied coatings in darker and saturated colors," said Couchie. "APV contributed to the effort by providing samples of NeverFade for a blind study comparing different coating chemistries."
An Exciting Year Ahead in 2021
APV expects demand for its unique chemistries and products to grow in 2021 and added a third shift in 2020 to help meet the need. The company also plans to make significant investments in new manufacturing equipment and a next-generation manufacturing area to support its NeverFade and architectural building products business.
"APV demonstrated a concerted effort to adapt to change in 2020 and that spirit of agility and resiliency will continue throughout 2021 and beyond," said Thomas Venarge, President, APV Engineered Coatings. "We look forward to getting back to business as usual, creating new jobs and contributing to the growth of the Ohio and U.S. economy."
To learn more, visit www.apvcoatings.com.