BASF Coatings and DuPont Performance Coatings received 2004 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Awards for technology developments related to automotive-coatings materials and application processes.

BASF was recognized for the company's ColorCARE system, a software-based tool that is designed to ensure precise color matches between new vehicle bodies and add-on parts. DuPont won the award for its "wet-on- wet" coatings system that allows two-tone styling in one pass through a paint line for Ford Motor Co. pickup trucks.

BASF said the ColorCARE system, developed in Münster, Germany, features analytical software that allows technicians at an auto-assembly plant to continuously monitor the color match between vehicle bodies and add-on parts such as bumpers and mirror housings as the units move along the assembly line. When the system detects a deviation, further "build-out" of the vehicle can be stopped and the cause of the color deviation can be eliminated by adjusting the paint or application process.

DuPont said its "wet-on- wet" system involved its coatings-product development efforts and process innovations carried out by Ford. The process is reported to have delivered cost savings and accelerated assembly-line output for Ford's popular F-250 and F-350 pick-up trucks made at the company's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

The PACE awards were established in 1994 by Automotive News and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young to honor automotive suppliers that introduce innovations or take other steps to meet the needs of the automotive industry.