The difference between ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ is just three little letters. Letters that can change your business and your life. Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” How apt this is for today’s economic environment and our industry.
If you listen to the news media, you are constantly bombarded with oil and cost of living increases, famine, flooding, earthquakes, tornados and a rash of other scare and negative news. We become so entrenched in thinking along these lines that we lose sight of the positive, the opportunities, the hope and our ‘can do’ attitude. Yes our raw material prices are increasing, but we are far from gloom and doom. Or at least we should be.
I saw so much optimism at the American Coatings event. New technologies for the future that are energy-saving, bio-based and environmentally friendly. Each day there is some new nanotechnology news item that should excite us for the opportunities that are available today and certainly will be in the next few years. As a people we have always responded to challenge and to difficulty and always have risen to new heights. I see that for this industry for now and for the future as well.
Nanotechnology is not new to the paint industry – we have been using nano particles for years. However some of the products and applications are quite new. The world market for nanotechnology is over 100 billion dollars and expected to rise to well over one trillion in less than 10 years. This industry has a share in that market and in the technology.
We have been making exciting advances in smart coatings that respond to stimuli or offer advanced protection. Look at the easy-to-clean coatings and the effect coatings today. We have dazzling finishes not possible when I started in this industry. Smart coatings that respond to viral and bacterial attack are possible today. Enzyme chemistry has introduced a whole new type of coating to the market as well.
If you go back and look through the last couple of years of features in this magazine, you will be amazed at the new technology that we have consistently presented to our readers - nano, smart, green, sustainable, bio-based and the list goes on. This is a reflection and, but a small snapshot, of what the coatings industry is doing today. We should be optimistic and thinking in a very positive way about our future. Yes it is challenging – but not ever boring. Attend the technical meetings that are offered almost monthly in various places – it is uplifting, generates new creative thinking and also supports the industry.
I end quoting two more people I admire: “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character,” (Albert Einstein) and “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier” (Colin Powell).
Three Little Letters
Darlene Brezinski, Ph.D., is the Technical Editor of PCI.