PPG Launches ‘Green’ Zircobond Pretreatment
TROY, Mich., Jan. 15, 2008 – PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) has announced the launch of a new, environmentally responsible automotive pretreatment technology at CAMI Automotive’s production facility in Ingersoll, Ont., Canada. CAMI, an independently incorporated joint venture of Suzuki Motor Corporation and General Motors of Canada Ltd., began processing vehicles with Zircobond pretreatment in early January and moved to full-scale production Jan. 14.
Metal pretreatment cleans and provides corrosion protection to automotive body surfaces. However, traditional zinc-phosphate retreatment processes generate sludge containing heavy metals such as nickel, zinc and manganese, making them subject to environmental regulations.
As a result, PPG has developed Zircobond pretreatment, an alternative pretreatment based on zirconium chemistry and a proprietary blend of additives. Zircobond pretreatment cuts sludge byproduct from the pretreatment process by at least 80 percent compared to zinc-phosphate-based products, and it can be used in existing pretreatment lines.
Additionally, estimates show that facilities using Zircobond pretreatment can realize annual savings of up to several hundred thousand dollars on energy, maintenance and labor costs. Savings potential is even greater in greenfield applications, where fewer process stages could generate as much as several million dollars in savings on new facility capital investments.
The commercial launch of Zircobond pretreatment is a significant step for PPG, CAMI and an automotive industry striving to be more ‘green.' According to GM global process pretreatment lead Kevin Cunningham, “Continued leadership in the use of environmentally friendly technologies is imperative at General Motors. PPG has developed an innovative pretreatment coating material that offers advantages including energy savings, water conservation and a smaller footprint. GM is aggressively pursuing global implementation opportunities, and we are pleased to partner with PPG in the development of new Zircobond pretreatment technology.”
According to Robert L. White, PPG global director of product management for substrate protection systems, “In Zircobond pretreatment, PPG has created an environmentally responsible solution that addresses regulatory concerns and delivers economic incentives to pretreatment customers while continuing to meet the automotive industry's stringent coatings performance requirements.”
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG’s sales in 2007 were $11.2 billion. SigmaKalon, a worldwide coatings producer based in Uithoorn, Netherlands, that PPG acquired Jan. 2, 2008, had 2007 sales of $2.9 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
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Zircobond is a trademark of PPG Industries.