Ready to proof -- CLJ 5/23/23


By Kristin Johansson, Associate Publisher/Chief Editor | PCI

Four Important and Unique Industry Events

It has been a busy spring conference season, with four events in a five-week window. The Southern Society for Coatings Technology’s 86th annual SSCT Technical Conference, the Detroit Society for Coatings Technology’s (DSCT) 47th annual Future of Coatings Under Study (FOCUS) Conference, the Eastern Coatings Federation’s biennial Eastern Coatings Show, and the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association’s annual CPCA Conference, all took place in April and May. Each event is important to the specific region it focuses on, and welcomes attendees from throughout the United States and the global coatings community.

The SSCT’s conference was held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida. Its unique event layout is one of my favorites, with built-in networking activities in the form of hospitality suites; deep-sea fishing; golfing; a painting class; and a banquet that awards college scholarships to members’ children, and features a silent-auction fundraiser. One of their keynote addresses this year was a counterintelligence brief by FBI agent Joshua Chancey. For years, American adversaries and strategic competitors have conducted cyber espionage to collect intelligence and targeted our critical infrastructure. As we connect and integrate billions of new digital devices into our lives and business processes, malicious actors almost certainly will gain greater insight into and access to our protected information. Agent Chancey discussed some real-world examples of this threat, and discussed ways that companies and individuals can prevent it.

The DSCT’s FOCUS Conference is a one-day event held in Plymouth, Michigan, that features the latest innovations in the world of automotive coatings. This year, over 275 attendees learned about new technologies driving development, including digital color rendering, drop-on-demand digital painting, a novel approach to structural color, a paint shop modeling tool for cost and sustainability, and much more. This event also featured two keynote addresses. One by Michael Stucky, Senior Sustainability Business Manager at PPG, and Dr. Diana Wright, who specializes in paints and tapes analysis in the Chemistry Unit of the FBI's Laboratory Division in Quantico, Virginia. She discussed several cases where she has analyzed small paint chips to help solve crimes — primarily hit and run accidents. From a tiny particle of OEM paint left on a victim’s clothing, she has been able to determine the make, model, and year of the vehicle that struck them, as well as which facility it was painted in, and a partial VIN number.

The ECS returned again to Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and featured it’s popular poolside opening reception; golf outing; short courses; a keynote address by Dan Calkins, Chairman & CEO of Benjamin Moore; conference sessions; a panel discussion on the future of the coatings industry; a full exhibit hall; and a Businesswomen in Paint and Coatings Networking Forum. Calkins’ keynote address was very insightful and interesting. He spoke about leading his business through the extreme challenges of the last four years, and chasing the “new normal.” PCI will be publishing an interview with him on these challenges, and the actions that Benjamin Moore has taken to overcome them, in our July Voices from the Top issue.

The CPCA’s Annual Conference, also known as “Canada’s Coatings Conference,” was held at Vintage Hotels Queens Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Coatings leaders, regulatory experts, and chemical engineers provided attendees with insights on industry advances in R&D and technology, current business challenges, and the wider economic outlook ahead. As one of Canada’s oldest industry associations, the association’s mandate is to advocate for fair regulations that is evidence-based, rooted in science, and takes into consideration impacts to industry, the environment, and the economyAttendees to this annual event are treated to a variety of presentations, a discussion panel, and an evening of great food, award presentations and entertainment. CPCA’s President and CEO, Gary LeRoux, knows how to have fun and throw a party!

There are still a few upcoming industry conferences in June before the summer hiatus begins, including the Cleveland Coatings Society’s annual Sink or Swim event, and the American Coatings Association’s 2023 Coatings Tech Conference. I always enjoy attending coatings conferences and trade shows, and come away from each event with new-found knowledge, contacts, and colleagues!