The 5th International Advances in Coatings Technology Conference (ACT _02), held November 5-8, 2002, in Katowice, Poland, clearly showed the direction in which coatings are headed in Eastern Europe: environmental aspects are becoming more important, and Western European laws and technical standards are increasingly awakening the interest of the Eastern European paint industry.
Fifty speakers from Eastern and Western Europe offered a versatile, scientific/technical program that attracted 100 paint experts, mainly from Poland, to gain and exchange information on the development of environmentally friendly systems. In the process, the conference explicitly focused on binding agents, additives, hardener systems and colorants for waterborne coating systems.
Thomas Singe, CEO of DFO, Germany, supported this trend by demonstrating in detail that changing from solventborne to environmentally friendly systems might initially cause more expense, but this change is worth the effort and expense in the long run.
The presence of Hermann-Josef Drexler, CEPE, Vehicle Refinish Coordinator, made it clear that the Western European coatings sector wishes to make Eastern Europe familiar with European legislation, such as the Solvent Emission Directive and the relevant "White Paper," to smooth the way for uniform technical standards in a timely manner.