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ChemQuest, Coatings Center Team Up

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

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A new strategic partnership aims to advance technology and production needs of coatings end-users, suppliers, formulators and raw material producers.

The ChemQuest Group Inc., based in Cincinnati, an international business strategy firm specializing in specialty chemicals, reached an agreement on terms with the Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County, Virginia, that enables the chemicals firm to incorporate the National Center for Coatings, Application, Research, & Education (C-CARE) into the newly formed ChemQuest Technology Institute.

C-Care building
The ChemQuest Group

Through an agreement with the Halifax IDA, The ChemQuest Group will be able to incorporate the National Center for Coatings, Application, Research & Education into its new ChemQuest Technology Institute.

ChemQuest anticipates the integration of a physical site will strengthen the 40-year-old company's Technology and Development pillar of its value chain services, it said in a statement issued Thursday (April 7). The current C-CARE center is located in South Boston, VA.

“Halifax IDA’s vision to create and build a facility meeting industry best practices gives the ChemQuest Technology Institute a launchpad to address our clients’ needs,” said Dan Murad, president and CEO of ChemQuest.

“Our clients have indicated the desire to verify and document applications processes to better serve their customer demands,” he added. “We look forward to a bright future helping end-users, formulators, and raw materials suppliers meet their technology and production challenges.”

An Experienced Partner

According to Matt Leonard, Halifax IDA executive director, the agency spent more than two years seeking a “partner to whom we could entrust our multimillion dollar applied coatings laboratory.

“ChemQuest is that right partner,” he added.

Per the terms of the agreement, ChemQuest is now managing the assets and expanding the capabilities of C-CARE.

ChemQuest Technology Institute
National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education

C-CARE was developed to provide coatings suppliers the ability to test their products in a controlled environment that replicates a range of production conditions.

"The Halifax, Virginia Industrial Development Authority (IDA) couldn’t be happier with its new relationship with The ChemQuest Group,” Leonard said.

“They bring decades of experience, thousands of critical industry contacts, a spirit of teamwork, and a vision for the lab far beyond what we put in place and could have imagined.”

Cutting-Edge Site

Located just over an hour outside of North Carolina's Research Triangle Park area, C-CARE is described as a 12,000-square-foot (and growing) cutting-edge facility designed to provide coatings suppliers the ability to test their products in a controlled environment that replicates a range of production conditions.

Its current applications laboratory incorporates a wide selection of technologies, including six-axis robotics, electrostatic and wet spray, flat and hang lines, IR, UV and convection curing.

It also features an automobile-sized cross-ventilated spray booth suitable for robotic or manual equipment.

All of the existing laboratory capabilities and technologies, which were primarily designed for coatings applications, will remain, but ChemQuest plans to expand functionalities throughout the second half of 2016, according to Edye Fox Abrams, the company’s director of business development.

As part of the agreement, formulary and analytical laboratories will be added, and services expanded, to support specialty chemicals clients in paints and coatings; adhesives; sealants; plastics; inks; personal care; household, industrial and institutional; and more.

The Next Level

In addition to taking advantage of the high-tech climate controls that enable the facility to recreate a variety of manufacturing and production environments, Abrams emphasized that CQTI also addresses the commercialization aspect of product development.

C-Care lab
National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education

All of the existing laboratory capabilities and technologies, primarily designed for coatings applications, will remain, but ChemQuest plans to expand functionalities throughout the second half of 2016.

Through the facility, companies can "truly design a new product literally from molecular synthesization to product commercialization," she said.

The facility includes a studio that can be used to film training videos, computer interface access for video conferencing with up to three additional locations, and 3D modeling capabilities.

"Large companies who aren't always able to get everything through their own pipelines as fast as they like often need to go out of house," she said.

"We believe this is a way for development to occur faster and through a different track than what a large company can do on its own," Abrams explained, "or what small to medium-sized formulators can accomplish; they simply don't have the facilities."

Additionally, the site is not exclusive only to raw materials and coating manufacturers. It is also open to equipment manufacturers and applicators, Abrams noted.

CQTI spray booth
National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education

In addition to the lab's ability to recreate a variety of manufacturing and production environments, Abrams emphasized that CQTI also addresses the commercialization aspect of product development.

If an equipment manufacturer wants to see how a variety of real-world coatings actually function through their machinery, that is something CQTI can easily accomplish, she said. Or an applicator can use CQTI to train people in their workforce, she added.

About ChemQuest

According to its website, ChemQuest is widely recognized among raw material suppliers, formulators and financial investors for its experience and expertise. The company’s four service pillars include Business Strategy; Mergers, Acquisitions or Divestures Assistance; Commercial & Operational Efficiencies; and Technology Planning & Development through the ChemQuest Technology Institute, it says.

With services extending across 12 formulated product categories and more than 10 end-use markets within the specialty chemicals value chain, its team includes experienced senior managers from major manufacturers, business owners, and senior technical managers, including 11 Ph.D. chemists, with a minimum of 25 years of experience in specialty chemicals.

About C-CARE

The National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education is a Center of Excellence that provides one of the most advanced manufacturing laboratories in North America for coating and finishing related process engineering, applied research, training and education.

It was developed to partner with a spectrum of manufacturers, supply chain companies, and application equipment providers to develop applied coating solutions for manufacturers.

C-CARE achieves this mission by providing an environment that contains state-of-the-art coating application technology for testing, validation, process engineering, research and development, workforce training, and education for the application of coatings to products across different industry sectors.

   

Tagged categories: Adhesive; ChemQuest; Coatings; Coatings education; Coatings Technology; Formulating; Laboratory testing; Paint; Paint application; Research and development; Sealant

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