PPG announces opening of color design studio

California facility accelerates color design, prototyping process

PITTSBURGH, April 7, 2010 – PPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) industrial coatings business has announced the opening of the Shmaze Color Design Studio sponsored by PPG Trendcast, a facility near Irvine, Calif., devoted to helping manufacturers and industrial designers accelerate color design and prototype development.

Richard Zoulek, PPG general manager for strategic markets, said the Shmaze Color Design Studio expands PPG’s resources as a premier coatings supplier by uniting it with the hands-on application expertise of a world-class production team.

“This new facility enables manufacturers and industrial designers from around the world to come into our workshop and walk out with production-ready parts and coatings that can run almost anywhere in the world,” he said. “For design-intensive organizations like consumer electronics companies, that process can take three to six months due to logistical challenges.  When you work with PPG, it can be reduced to days.”

Michael Shamassian, principal of the Shmaze Color Design Studio, said the facility’s core mission is problem-solving. “Lots of companies have design studios like ours, but no one has the equipment and on-site production expertise that we do, all under one roof,” he explained. “We have a full-service production line with robots, tooling, molders and other equipment that enables us to work through production and quality issues in real time, and to prove the viability of a coating in a matter of hours or days.”

Viktor Sekmakas, PPG vice president, global industrial coatings, said the studio is part of PPG’s strategy to focus on “listen and do” instead of “show and tell.” “This facility is unique to the industry because it combines the creativity of a studio with a real-world production environment,” he said. “Customers can work directly with our experts to bring their color concepts to life, then walk right on to a production line to push and pull those ideas until they get exactly what they want. In most color design workshops, designers have to settle for something close to what they originally envisioned. There’s no settling here.”

Shamassian said the color design studio helps designers to be more effective, too. “Our hands-on approach enables designers to walk out of our sessions with a much fuller understanding of the color design process,” he explained.  “When they’re done here, they know how colors are made and formulated, and how that formulation affects how they appear on the production line and the finished product.”

According to Zoulek, that ultimately results in increased revenues for PPG customers. “When designers create products with the look and feel they want, that increases their salability. They leave the studio with coatings and parts that look exactly how they want them to look, and now, with our help, that process takes place a whole lot faster than it otherwise would.”

The Shmaze Color Design Studio was created to serve manufacturers and industrial designers in industries such as consumer electronics, automotive parts and accessories, beauty products, appliances, sports and recreation equipment, and aerospace. For more information, call 1-888-774-2001 or visit www.ppgindustrialcoatings.com.

PPG Trendcast is a program designed to communicate the latest trends in colors, effects and feels, and to apply them to specific markets and products. Built on decades of PPG color research and development expertise, PPG Trendcast provides access to highly knowledgeable support personnel and a full range of services from color matching to proactive monitoring of coating facility operations. Additional support services include product usage training, laboratory testing, operational troubleshooting and process design to maximize production uptime and application efficiency.

About PPG
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

Trendcast is a trademark of PPG Industries.
Angela Behrens
PPG Industrial Coatings