Upgrading of China's Painting and Coating Industry
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Report: Upgrading of China's Painting and Coating Industry
has vowed to upgrade its industries and move up the global value chain.
The country also means to change the way of its economic growth. An
environmental-friendly, sustainable and clean path towards better
development is essential for all.
Today we will listen to the
story of Lantu Company, a leading player in China's painting and coating
industry, and see how it tries to stand as a representative of China's
millions of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Su Yi has some insights.
Most people are familiar in some way with painting and coating, as it
has factors in their lives at one point in time. In today's more
environmentally conscious world, paints are expected to become
"greener," that is, more healthy for users and not devastating to the
Lantu, a producer, supplier and contractor of painting
and coating in China, knows the importance of their products' quality
Feng Keming,Chief Engineer of Lantu, explains the significance of good paints to his company and the consumers.
and clean products are popular around the world. This is the major
trend. Producing such goods is the responsibility of the paint industry
Paint manufacturers are busy formulating new products
that could reduce volatile organic compounds, or VOC, which may harm
people and the environment. This requires a transition of products from
oil-based paints to water-based paints, which have the advantages of low
VOCs, easy cleanup, quick drying and stable color over time.
Keming says what they have been doing is actually researching on
water-based paints, rather than oil-based paints. This is the most
difficult part, because the switch-over requires innovation. "This
is our future; I believe oil-based paints will be replaced by
water-based paints very soon. In international markets, this is the
obvious choice. In China, we are still in the developing and innovative
phase of implementing this practice."
Purchasing the right raw materials for production is also a key task.
Keming explains that, in order to get high-quality raw materials for
paints, like gum rosin, paint additives and pigment, they insist on
buying from the world's leading enterprises, despite their high cost. "Raw
materials are the basis of products. If raw materials are green and
clean, then our products will be good. So upgrading is not only for us.
It is for the players on the entire value chain. We all need to be
innovative and environmentally friendly."
Xu Bing is in charge of
Lantu's line of paints made specifically for wood surfaces. He shares
the same sentiment expressed by Feng Keming."We choose the best raw
materials for paints. For example, we choose the best gum rosin, one of
the key ingredients in producing paint."
Xu Bing says that, due
to their careful selection and the emphasis on raw materials, their
products have less volatilization than traditional paints. They claim
that their water-based paints don't produce an odor.
In order to
test the paint quality, Xu Bing and his co-workers often buy furniture
with their own money, on which they test out new paint. "We aim to
provide better products with higher quality. After our paint is applied
to furniture, it doesn't smell; that's our promise. If our paints smell,
we will refund the money."
Xu Bing concludes three things that Lantu has done to upgrade its products and operations. "We
have the most advanced equipment in the industry. Many colleagues
visited our factory and were surprised by the equipment we have. We
invest a lot in technology research. Last year, the research on paints
for wood surfaces cost us five million yuan. We also invited the world's
top researchers to join our project."
Equipment, technology and
human resources add more value to Lantu and its products. These factors
also raise the efficiency of production.
Ye Feng, President of Lantu, elaborates.
example, in the past, people needed maybe ten liters of paints to
finish a project; now you only need three liters. Technology will make
paints highly refined, so as to save labor costs. From production to
painting, we believe in the clean and green ideology."
adds that upgrading operations is a long process. At the beginning, they
invested a lot in technology upgrading, but gained little. It took them
almost two years to make the needed adjustment.
with customers' shifting demands on efficient and clean paints, products
with high technological elements are expected to become more popular,
and the result of upgrading will pay off.
Management in Lantu
also visited the labs of the world's leading paint and coating brands
that have facilities in China, including PPG Industries and
Ye Feng believes that, in the modern business
world, research does not start from zero. Enterprises need global wisdom
to find technological solutions, which should be practical and
promising."No good idea or product could be figured out by one
person at home. Making changes or upgrades is a trial-and-error process.
Changes that lead to real, tangible productivity is what is worth
anything, making changes without any knowledge or input is just playing
Industrial upgrading is a complicated process
that requires enterprises to make the right decisions about what to buy,
what to produce and how to produce. It also needs international
cooperation and understanding about the importance of technology, the
industry they are aiming for and what consumers want.
Source: News Plus/Biz China