Guest Editorial: A dynamic time for the industry

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by Jonathan Falder of HMG Paints. Jonathan is a 5th generation paint maker in family business HMG Paints Ltd. and a member of the royal institute of Chemistry. His primary role is technical business development.

As a relative newcomer to the industry, (with only 14 years service so far) it is a delight and an honour to provide a guest editorial for the first edition of PCE magazine’s newsletter.
As a 5th generation paintmaker in our family business HMG paints Ltd we have seen a myriad of changes in the industry over the lifetime of our business. My grandfather and still honouree chairman of HMG, still remembers a time when we received our raw material deliveries via horse and cart, took orders via telegram and made deliveries using the HMG company bicycle. The technological and industrial changes that we have seen over 88 years of UK manufacturing has been astounding. Today we are the largest independent paint company in the UK and are still 100% family owned and operated since our incorporation in October 1930. I hope my great grandfather, (the founder of our company) would be proud of the business if he could see it today.
There has never been a more exciting and dynamic time for the industrial and architectural sector. To fully understand why we must first glance into the past. Back in the 60’s the industrial steel coatings market was dominated by single pack alkyds and stoving enamels. These were followed by revolutionary two-pack solvent based cross linkers such as Epoxy 2K primers and Polyurethane 2K systems. Further technological advances saw the introduction of lower VOC two-pack products with much higher solids and non-isocyanate coatings, (NISO) which offer similar technical performance to 2-pack polyurethane systems, but without some of the health and safety concerns. Over recent years primer/topcoat hybrids like our own Monothane dispense with the primer coat altogether and allows the spraying of coating direct onto mild steel, aluminium, galvanised steel and many difficult-to-coat substrates. I haven’t even mentioned waterbased technologies yet!
The point I am making above is that in less than 30 years the UK industrial and architectural marketplace has undergone a radical transformation. Never in the history of surface coatings has such technological advance happened in such a short period of time. Now the job is to make the best even better and keep driving forward with innovative technologies to push the boundaries of what is possible. At HMG we have developed our next generation of industrial and architectural coatings including graphene re-enforced polymers, super high-performance interior and exterior decorative coatings, and the next generation of water based environmentally sustainable products. But the job is never done! Each time we move a step forwards we must look at our products and think “how can this be even better”. My father always had a great saying, which was “If you are ever completely satisfied with a product and feel that it could not get any better then retire”! This constant emphasis on driving innovation is a hallmark of the paint industry and something to be very proud of.

Whilst our industry faces many challenges, especially increasing legislative pressure on key raw materials, our wonderful and innovative industry strives to create cleaner, safer and better performing products than ever before, protecting, enhancing and beautifying the world around us.

About HMG Paints

As well as my editorial piece I have been given the opportunity to say a few words about HMG Paints and what we can offer as a business. Rather than write about our products or technological capabilities I would much rather talk about our business philosophy and culture as this sits at the heart of everything we do.
Since our incorporation in 1930 HMG Paints has been a family business. Generations of families have worked through the business and grown up together passing on their knowledge, expertise and passion to future generations. Whilst of course excellent paints and surface coatings are the lifeblood of our success, we believe that there is much more to it than that.
We believe that business based on trust, decency and exceptional service forms long term partnerships and friendships that last. In the early 1930s this was how we grew our business from a tiny room with only three people and a vision, to become the UK’s largest independent paint manufacturer with outlets across the UK and world.
As we’ve grown we have never forgotten our roots and the emphasis on working alongside our customers to create the very best individual service and tailored solutions for them. Whether our paint is used on a car or coach, an aircraft or a boat, a kitchen door or a doll’s house, to us it is above all ‘our paint’ and we are exceptionally proud of it.
With that pride, comes a responsibility and a genuine care of the products we make. HMG have a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise with a portfolio including wet paint, powder coatings and aerosols covering virtually every type of surface imaginable. Backed by our experience in developing pioneering coatings for a myriad of industries including; industrial, specialist industrial, architectural, automotive, commercial vehicle, defence, aerospace, wood finish, arts & craft, marine and rail, we have a drive to set the standards for the industry not just meet them.

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