On behalf of the PCI staff I want to take this opportunity to wish our readers, advertisers and contributing authors a very happy holiday season. We are successful because of your continued support, encouragement and feedback.

On behalf of the PCI staff I want to take this opportunity to wish our readers, advertisers and contributing authors a very happy holiday season. We are successful because of your continued support, encouragement and feedback.

As editor, I want to thank all those who contribute the wonderful feature articles that PCI continues to provide our readers. You are a pleasure to work with, and continue to make this publication the number-one source for practical and state-of-the-art technical information in the coatings community. In addition, I appreciate those who take the time to write and offer comments and suggestions. Please keep the reader comments coming – we welcome your input, suggestions and exchange of ideas. This is a great forum for us to exchange views and ideas concerning our industry.

We are of course in turbulent economic times. It was a mixed third quarter for some of the suppliers. The same was true for coatings manufacturers, although PPG showed record sales for the third quarter, as did Akzo Nobel and Asian Paints. There no doubt will be more ups and downs until the global economy stabilizes.

Because of economic uncertainties, innovative developments and technology will be critical and key for future growth and sustainability. One example illustrates my point. FEI Company, a provider of high-resolution imaging and analysis systems, announced recently the largest single order in the company’s history from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. They are making a substantial investment to create a world-class, graduate-level research university dedicated to scientific achievement. This is not the time to pull back on R&D and investing in the future.

We cannot predict 2009, but we can try to be positive in our outlook. The economic turmoil of the past several months definitely highlights the global nature of our economy and our business. Overall the industry outlook is cautious for 2009, and some folks are optimistic. Several of our suppliers are starting and/or continuing new developments and expansions. As of this writing, several companies are hiring chemical engineers and Ph.D. chemists. A number of good meetings are planned, and some new technology is due to be released in the 2009 calendar year. We will, as always, be reporting to you as soon as information becomes available.

My parting thought for 2008 is this – spend extra time with family and friends during the holiday season. Sometimes we all get so busy with ‘things’ that we forget what is most important in all our lives. People – our families and friends – are not replaceable and should be treasured. I know I speak for all the PCI staff in wishing everyone peace, joy, prosperity and good health during this holiday season and for the coming year.