PITTSBURGH — PPG Industries Inc.’s automotive-refinish coatings business is building a $6.1-million distribution center near Lima, OH, with operation expected to begin in mid-2000. The 252,000-square-foot facility will consolidate distribution functions for refinish coatings, said Douglas C. Hepper, vice president for PPG’s refinish-coatings business.

Hepper said the center will enhance distribution operations for the company’s expanded portfolio of refinish coatings and related products, the result of recent acquisitions of MaxMeyer Duco and ICI Autocolor, and the introduction of new products.

PPG will close existing refinish-coatings distribution warehouses in Livonia and Troy, MI; Chicago Ridge, IL; and Dayton, OH, with operations at those facilities transferring to the Lima site. The 28 employees affected will be reassigned, with some being offered transfers to Lima, Hepper said. In addition, distribution warehouses at coatings plants in Delaware, OH, and Springdale, PA, will be converted to warehouses serving those facilities exclusively. Hepper said the Lima site offers a central location and excellent transportation access that will improve distribution efficiencies.