As we enter a new era for refinish paint mixing with MOONWALK™, we also reflect on the features, benefits and evolution of our star product line, PPG Envirobase High Performance. We asked one of the earliest adopters of our pioneering waterborne basecoat system to share his views, alongside the man who steered the launch of its first generation.
At PPG, we pride ourselves on being true innovators in the world of automotive refinish. In 1999, we were the first coatings manufacturer to introduce a low VOC waterborne basecoat platform with PPG Envirobase.
Now in its second generation, PPG Envirobase High Performance is still the global leader and is trusted by more than 30,000 bodyshops worldwide. In 2019, we built on this legacy by launching Moonwalk. Used together, these technologies set a new standard for speed, quality and colour consistency – ensuring bodyshops have everything they need to be at the very top of their game.
Andrea Giunta, current Global Technical Director of PPG Automotive Refinish was responsible for the initial launch of PPG Envirobase over 20 years ago in his former role as EMEA Technical Director. He still remembers the product development process as if it was yesterday: “Of course, there was a market motivation, especially in Europe where there was new low VOC legislation coming that we already had to answer to,” explains Andrea.
“Envirobase goes beyond what legislation requires, focusing on the quality and performance of the platform. The idea was to build a technology with very longterm stability, easy to apply with the best performance in colour.”
Novauto Rubi, a long-established familyrun bodyshop in Spain, was quick to realise the benefits of PPG’s waterborne technology. Bodyshop manager and owner, Oscar Giménez Puigjuriol does not doubt for a second when we ask him to evaluate the platform:
“I have experienced the change from the solvent to the water-base and I have seen how everything has evolved. The impact of this product line on my bodyshop has been significant, especially in terms of quality, the excellent colorimetry (any colour can be achieved) and the speed. Our painters never have any issues with it because it is very easy to use and apply.”
Actually, Oscar´s relationship with PPG is kind of remarkable. Being an early adopter of the first generation of our waterborne refinish platform and a convinced user of our second generation, PPG Envirobase High Performance from 2000-2016, he decided to have a two-year break and to try products from other brands.
When we meet him, he smiles at us and admits:
“I think the break has been good as it gave us the opportunity to compare different products and this confirmed to us that Envirobase High Performance is the best product. I no longer look at the cost of the product because it helps me to increase the productivity and profitability of my bodyshop.”
Oscar recognises that the refinish business has changed a lot over the years and that as well as having an excellent product, you need a strong coatings partner; he says: “With PPG, whenever I have a problem, the next day I have an answer. Colours have become much more technical over the last 10 to 15 years and the expectation of the customer has become very high, so it is crucial for us to get technical assistance right on time.”
We contrast Oscar´s perception of an increasing demand for complex repairs with Andrea´s analysis for market trends of the last decade and the need of a leading coating company to react:
“Technology is work in progress and there are always features to improve. Back in 2005 when we upgraded Envirobase to Envirobase High Performance, our goal was to improve long term in can stability, increase hiding power and bring colour matching experience to the next level. Envirobase High Performance is still today one of the few non-stirring platforms in the marketplace,” says Andrea.
The direct benefit from a customer´s perspective? “Productivity and unrivalled customer satisfaction,” says Oscar with strong conviction.
When we ask him whether his bodyshop has benefited more from our improved technology, or the launch of more than 25 toners since the platform´s upgrade, however, he starts to struggle:
“Actually from both. On the one hand, the aluminiums have boosted process times, but on the other hand, the launch of further toners has made it possible to repair the latest colour trends coming from OEM, no matter how difficult they are.”
Andrea confirms: “I consider Envirobase High Performance a dynamic platform because we keep adding colour capability. So, we will continue to add the most important pigments in order to ensure that our bodyshops can match every colour defined.”
Regarding Moonwalk and its potential to revolutionise the automotive refinish sector, Oscar thinks it is an important invention to further digitalise the sector and to bring value to bodyshop managers both in terms of expenses, time savings and a better quality finish.
We thank Andrea and Oscar for sharing their experience with our global leading waterborne platform, Envirobase High Performance and look forward with excitement to further evolution.