BASF Coatings opens state-of-the-art training center for spraypainters at Münster site

Training facility for visitors from all over the world

(PresseBox) ( Münster, )
BASF Coatings has opened its new Refinish Competence Centre (RCC) at the Münster-Hiltrup site, which means the company has one of the world's most advanced information and training facilities for spraypainters.

Primarily customers, but also the National Head Trainers for the Glasurit® automotive refinish brand from around the world, will be trained at this instructional facility for automotive refinishing. They will travel to Münster to become qualified according to the "Train the Trainer" principle. They will then disseminate the know-how they acquire to their employees and customers in their home countries.

The numerous guests of honor at the ceremony included Raimar Jahn, President of BASF Coatings AG and head of the BASF Group's Coatings Division, Dr. Jens Baganz, State Secretary of North Rhine-Westphalia, Karin Reismann, Mayor of Münster, as well as national and international representatives and customers from the automotive and accessories industries from Europe, the United Arab Emirates and China. Numerous media representatives from Germany and abroad were also present. Altogether BASF Coatings now has 40 Refinish Competence Centres around the world. Münster is a key hub and competence center in this global network. "We form the best team in industry" and "We help our customers to be more successful" are two of BASF's strategic guidelines. "This is exactly what we are doing with and at the RCC in Münster, an excellent training facility for all employees from automotive refinish bodyshops and spraypainters from the automotive industry," said Jahn, President of BASF Coatings AG. The new training center is home especially to the BASF Coatings brand Glasurit® ("The parrot, symbol for Glasurit, has a new nest") and is a demonstration site for technology, services and products related to paint application at the highest level.

BASF Coatings invested around 3.5 million euros in the new training facility with an area of approximately 2,000 square meters. The training center, which opened 25 years ago and served as the benchmark for other training centers for spraypainters even then, was completely refurbished and outfitted with state-of-the-art technology. The work to renovate, upgrade and expand the facility took one year.

About 2,000 customers and visitors are expected at the new training center before the end of 2009. For the most part they will come from Europe and the Middle East. For comparison: In the past, around 3,000 guests on average visited the old RCC in an entire year.

Investments at the Münster and Würzburg sites part of BASF Coatings' long-term strategy

The overhaul of the Refinish Competence Centre was not the only investment at German sites intended to secure BASF Coatings' sustainability and competitiveness in the future and to expand the company's excellent market position. In addition to the work on the RCC at the Münster-Hiltrup site, the Application Center was also refurbished, buildings such as the computer center were renovated, and the research building was modernized. For these buildings, the facades and roofs have been insulated, sun protection installed and technical installations replaced. In addition, installation has been completed for a new reactor for the production of polyurethane, an important intermediate for production of water-thinnable coatings. The reactor will boost the capacity of the resin factory from 10,000 to up to 15,000 tons per year.

BASF Coatings officially launched the new production and lab capacities for basecoats at the Würzburg site last spring, around one-and-one-half years after the construction started. This expansion permits the production of approximately 1,600 additional small batches, which translates into a capacity increase of around thirty percent. BASF Coatings has been represented at the Würzburg site since 1969. Today, approx. 280 employees work at this site. Innovative waterborne basecoats, with a special focus on metallic paints, are manufactured and developed at this production area measuring 32,000 square meters. They are used in automotive OEM painting by nearly all leading car manufacturers.

"With our investments in Münster and Würzburg, BASF Coatings has laid the foundation for emerging from the economic crisis stronger than ever," explained Jahn.
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