PPG's Chief Technology Officer delivers keynote at American Chemical Manufacturing Summit

Chuck Kahle, PPG Industries’ chief technology officer and vice president, research and development, coatings, delivered a keynote address at the American Chemical Manufacturing Summit, held in Pittsburgh, Pa., on June 18. The address, Driving Profitable Growth While Mastering Complexity, explored how PPG recognized its strength in coatings and specialty products and made a strategic shift to focus on those elements of the business – backed by the necessary investments and technology – to drive profitable growth and enhance operational excellence.

Kahle explained that PPG has utilized innovation as a key tenant for the company’s ongoing efforts to build PPG into the world’s leading coatings and specialty companies. According to Kahle, PPG’s innovation formula includes a focus on profitable growth from new products and retaining margins, while remaining close to the markets the company already serves. He explained that PPG takes a cross-disciplinary approach to R&D globally and remains open to external technologies.

“PPG has a solid track record of delivering innovative solutions, and we introduce roughly 75 to 150 new products each year,” Kahle said. “PPG’s innovation ranges from solutions that reduce environmental impact, such as low-VOC coatings, to delivering energy efficiency and protecting against corrosion and rust.” In 2012, PPG invested $470 million in R&D.

“Companies must balance the demands of reducing complexity and ensuring sustainability while also delivering innovative products,” Kahle emphasized to the audience.

The American Chemical Manufacturing Summit brought together industry leaders to discuss the current state of the industry and the impact of new regulations. Among the key themes addressed during the two day event were economic outlook, controlling costs and maximizing the accuracy of company forecasts.