Walther Pilot North America (Chesterfield, Mich.) has announced an agreement with Wagner Industrial Liquid Group (Markdorf, Germany) to serve as its affiliate to major U.S. and Canadian markets, promoting its line of liquid industrial spray finishing equipment. Walther Pilot North America currently operates as the North American affiliate for the Walther Pilot line of industry finishing equipment. Its current product line consists primarily of air spray guns, pressure pots and specialty spray equipment. The Wagner Industrial Liquid product line will add airless spray, air-coat (air-assist airless) spray, electrostatic spray, high and low pressure pumping systems, and two component technology to the company's product mix.

SDC Technologies Inc., a California-based global supplier of functional surface technologies, coatings and materials, announced that 100 percent of the company has been purchased by The Compass Group International LLC and the management team. SDC is a developer of proprietary, high-performance coating systems for application to plastic and glass materials. The Compass Group is a private investment firm with offices in Westport, Conn., and Irvine, Calif. It provides equity capital to small and middle market companies in pursuit of growth opportunities, ownership changes and recapitalizations. Compass focuses on growing segments of the service, distribution and manufacturing sectors of the economy, primarily in North America.

The Performance Pigments Group at Sun Chemical (Cincinnati) has announced price increases of 5 percent to 10 percent on pigments and pigment preparations. Raw material prices, including intermediates, bulk chemicals, resins and vehicles have increased steadily throughout 2004, and more increases are anticipated in the coming months. Sun Chemical says it has invested heavily over the last few years in improving productivity and in capital equipment to improve efficiency in their factories. However, the rapid escalation of costs this year have outpaced the gains in productivity, resulting in the necessity for the company to raise prices.

X-Rite (Grandville, Mich.) announced its partnership with Ciba as the exclusive hardware color solution partner for its new website: matchmycolor.com. Matchmycolor.com is an on-line, service-only platform designed to assist all color-related professionals with color matching. It includes a color-matching engine using a comprehensive and homogeneous colorant database covering the entire color spectrum, recipe costing, application-specific expert systems, on-line technical support by neutral color experts, and quick color chips sampling. The prototype, developed for the plastics industry, was launched at K Show, 2004.

Dow Oxygenated Solvents (Midland, Mich.) expanded its presence on the Internet with a new web site, www.dowsolvents.com. The site is designed to provide formulators with quick and easy access to the information they need to specify Dow Oxygenated Solvents and Intermediates products, including application information, product information, literature and more. The site features standard navigation that follows the user throughout the site, allowing quick and easy movement from page to page and from section to section.

Bayer MaterialScience L.L.C. announced plans to close an aromatic polyisocyanate production unit at the company's New Martinsville, W.V., site by the end of the first quarter of next year. The plant manufactures the company's Desmodur CB products, used in general industrial, wood and magnetic-tape coatings. Don Hummel, head of the coatings, adhesives and sealants business for Bayer MaterialScience NAFTA, says demand in the NAFTA market for Desmodur CB had dropped significantly over the last several years. "The current market size does not justify domestic manufacture of this product line any longer," he says. Bayer says it plans to supply an equivalent product, Desmodur L, to the North American market from a plant in Leverkusen, Germany.

MorehouseCowles, a manufacturer of dispersing and milling equipment and technology for the chemicals, paints, pigments and coatings industries, announced at International Coatings Expo the addition of new product lines utilizing the technological expertise of its parent company, silicone formulator and manufacturer NuSil Technology.

Clariant Corp., Pigments & Additives Div. (Coventry, R.I.) inaugurated its state-of-the-art automated production plant for Diketopyrrolo Pyrrole (DPP) pigments at Clariant's site in Frankfurt-Hochst, Germany. The first pilot plant tests were undertaken about four years ago. Shortly afterward, Clariant planned the new line. The first DPP pigments have been produced this last quarter of 2004.