Auto Service World
News   September 18, 2009   by CARS Magazine


MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – September 14, 2009 – PPG has announced that more than 1,000 collision centers across Canada have converted to environmentally-friendly Envirobase® High Performance, a PPG brand, and Nexa Autocolor™’s Aquabase® Plus waterborne basecoats from solvent-based systems. Shops are making the switch in anticipation of Canada’s new VOC Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinish Products Regulations designed to reduce VOC atmospheric emissions and improve air quality. The regulations take effect June 18, 2010.

The waterborne conversion process has been ongoing for more than two years. At the time the changeover began, PPG initiated a program known as “Convert with Confidence” to ensure shops would undergo a smooth transition. The program is a disciplined process that ensures success as collision center owners, managers and technicians are provided with training, advice and support prior to, during and after the conversion.

“We knew this would be a big change for our customers, so we wanted to make sure it would be as easy as possible,” said Debbie Nucciarone, PPG product manager. “We were confident we had the best waterborne basecoat and that shops would be very impressed once they tried it. I’m pleased to say, things have gone extremely well. Shops are finding the conversion process to be efficient. ”

Not knowing exactly what to expect from the new waterborne technology, some shop owners were concerned about the change. Those who already have made the switch indicate they are pleased with the results. They are finding Envirobase HP and Aquabase Plus products to be ecologically sound, easy to use and excellent for color-matching capability. In addition, knowing the change is inevitable, they are eager to move ahead of the competition, convert as quickly as possible and be fully familiar with the paint when compliance is required.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of the changeover. We’ve been with PPG 15 years and they supported us completely,” said Bill Kowalchuk, owner of General Collision, Lethbridge, Alberta. “Their waterborne paint is user-friendly and allows for superior color-matching. Besides that, we want to do our part to help the environment.”

Don Tobin, owner, Jensen Auto Collision, Whitby, Ontario adds, “We recently converted to waterborne basecoats and the results greatly exceeded our expectations. My painters haven’t been happier! Making the switch has given us better color-match and allowed us to take a step forward in becoming more environmentally responsible. Not only will we be using less solvent, the waterborne system provides consistency and superior metallic control, is more efficient and gives us the added bonus of complying with current and future VOC regulations.”

The technicians have also reacted. “The training was excellent,” said Sylvain Lagacé, painter at Collision Centre Carrosserie S. J. Houle, Inc., Montreal, Quebec. “I was expecting it to be hard, but it wasn’t. It is definitely less harmful to me healthwise, and the color matches are much better.”

PPG is encouraging shop owners across Canada to take advantage of the “Convert with Confidence” program as soon as possible to ensure they are properly prepared when regulatory deadlines go into effect.
For more information, contact a local PPG or Nexa Autocolor sales representative or visit the PPG Automotive Refinish website at

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