Megatrends direct the changes in the paint business – this is how the field is changing

09.04.2017 20:11

Tikkurila’s research, development and innovation move with the megatrends. In the next 30 years, we will see renewable raw materials enter the field due to a scarcity of resources, diminishing natural resources, and climate change. With new kinds of paint components, the carbon footprint of paint can be halved.

– The paint industry has changed considerably in the past 50 years.  One big change happened with tinting paint at the store. That transformed the foundations of paint logistics and reduced the amount of surplus stock. Another important change was the transition from solvent-borne to water-borne paints. With the change, paint products took a great leap forward in the safety of both products and users, says Kenneth Sundberg, Senior Vice President of Research, Development, and Innovation at Tikkurila.

Kenneth Sundberg

Durable protection of materials

The purpose of paint is not only to decorate, but also to protect structures and surfaces, and lengthen their service life. Durability is measured based on the length of the maintenance interval. The longer the maintenance interval of a product, the easier it is for the customer.  A longer service life also saves costs and natural resources, and reduces the environmental impact of painting.

– In different market areas, durability and responsibility are highlighted based on the needs of the environment. For example, in the Nordic countries, consumers are highly aware of sustainable development, and more and more people are interested in companies’ responsibility and the impact of business on the environment, people, and societies.

– In countries where the outdoor air is badly polluted, the impact on health and the possibility to influence indoor air quality are emphasized. A common factor for market areas is that consumers, legislators, and investors everywhere are increasingly interested in what kind of company is behind the products and services, Sundberg remarks.

A remote-controlled drone takes care of maintenance painting

Sundberg believes that megatrends and developing technology have a significant impact on the development of the paint industry:

– Megatrends, such as digitalization, changes in the population structure, and a scarcity of resources, have accelerated the rate of change in working life and the industrial sectors. For example, a rise of the middle class and an aging population can affect the target groups of the paint industry; due to these factors, more and more consumers may employ a professional in their painting projects.

– Due to digitalization, transparency has increased in the business, and the way consumers make purchase decisions has changed. It is increasingly easy for us to follow customer trends and customers’ wishes.

– Developing technology makes stimulation tests and automatizing product development easier in developing paint products. 3D-printed building materials and remote-controlled drones that take care of maintenance painting are a part of the future of the field.

– Among all these changes, one thing will stay the same. In 30 years, we will still live in houses that need a coat of paint.

Text: Eveliina Salomaa, Vapa Media Oy
Picture: Timo Soasepp

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Tikkurila's decoration magazine, Color Now 2018, is a compilation of stories from the world of color and interior decoration, presented in the form of a classic decoration magazine. The magazine also includes an introduction of the most current interior decoration colors for 2018.