MÜNSTER, Germany - BASF Coatings has opened its new Refinish Competence Centre (RCC) at the Münster-Hiltrup site, which means the company has one of the world’s most advanced information and training facilities for spray painters.
Primarily customers, but also the National Head Trainers for the Glasurit® automotive refinish brand from around the world, will be trained at this instructional facility for automotive refinishing. They will travel to Münster to become qualified according to the “train the trainer” principle. They will then disseminate the know-how they acquire at the training center to their employees and customers in their home countries.
BASF Coatings invested around EUR 3.5 million in the new training facility with an area of approximately 2,000 square meters. The training center, which opened 25 years ago and served as the benchmark for other training centers for spray painters even then, was completely refurbished and outfitted with state-of-the-art technology. The work to renovate, upgrade and expand the facility took one year.
About 2,000 customers and visitors are expected at the new training center before the end of 2009. For the most part they will come from Europe and the Middle East. For comparison: In the past, around 3,000 guests on average visited the old RCC in an entire year. Altogether, BASF Coatings now has 40 Refinish Competence Centres around the world. Münster is a key hub and competence center in this global network.
Investments at the Münster and Würzburg sites part of BASF Coatings’ long-term strategy, and the overhaul of the Refinish Competence Centre was not the only investment at German sites. Installation has been completed for a new reactor for the production of polyurethane, an important intermediate for production of water-thinnable coatings. The reactor will boost the capacity of the resin factory from 10,000 to up to 15,000 tons per year.
BASF Coatings officially launched the new production and lab capacities for basecoats at the Würzburg site last spring . This expansion permits the production of approximately 1,600 additional small batches, which translates into a capacity increase of around 30 percent. BASF Coatings has been represented at the Würzburg site since 1969. Today, approximately 280 employees work at this site. Innovative waterborne basecoats, with a special focus on metallic paints, are manufactured and developed at this production area, which measures 32,000 square meters. They are used in automotive OEM painting by nearly all leading car manufacturers.