2020 had an extraordinary impact on many industries. However, after an initial dip in Q2 2020 – when the world was holding its breath how the COVID-19 pandemic would develop – the demand for decorative coatings has continued to grow. In this Hauzer market report for the decorative sector, Huub Vercoulen, Hauzer Sales Manager, shares his observations about the market trends for decorative coatings.
TREND 1: CONSUMERS INVESTING IN UPGRADING THEIR SURROUNDINGS
Unemployment rates in Europe have not risen as much as people feared at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, since most core business activities could still be done remotely. Huub: “Most people, fortunately, still have money coming in. They just have much less opportunity to spend it. That naturally results in the desire to make repairs and improvements at home. Working at the kitchen table day in, day out means you really start to notice the state of the kitchen. Looking at this trend in combination with the trend towards more colour application in interior design, it is clear why Hauzer customers in the decorative sector have done well in 2020.”
In addition to the growing consumer demand for home furnishings and fixtures, the construction sector has also not suffered much from the COVID crisis. New homes are still being built at high speed, keeping up a steady demand for door handles and sanitary hardware.
TREND 2: MULTI-PURPOSE COATING MACHINES
For many coating service providers, the fluctuating and perhaps decreased demand for tool or tribological coatings has made it attractive to configure their coating machines to be multi-purpose. This allows them to take advantage of the demand for decorative coatings, while retaining and perhaps even expanding their capacity in their core market.
“A dual deco/tribo configuration was already in much demand,” Huub says, “but now we increasingly see deco/tool configurations as well. Due to their high number of cathode positions, Hauzer machines can easily be configured into dual-purpose or even triple-purpose machines. The Hauzer Flexicoat™ 1250 is especially suitable for dual deco/tool. Large enough to provide a competitive cost per coating and to accommodate larger products, but small enough to operate at the lower temperature required for coating plastics.”
TREND 3: ROSE GOLD, BLACK AND A BROADER COLOUR RANGE
Rose gold and black remain in high demand for many decorative applications, especially for providing a luxury, metallic feel on products. In addition, nickel, gold, anthracite, copper and chrome coatings remain ever popular.
Hauzer’s new ‘hard black’ coating matches this trend perfectly. On metal substrates, the hard black coating has a much higher abrasion resistance than the colour-matched sputtered black. Huub: “This expands the application range for black coatings – now, you can get the same colour on both purely decorative components and components that need to be highly wear-resistant.”
This wide variety of popular coating colours means that coating machines should be flexible enough to reliably produce all these colours. Hauzer machines can easily be configured for a wide colour range, and as part of the Hauzer customer service, we freely share new coating recipes.
TREND 4: MORE DESIGN APPLICATIONS FOR DECORATIVE PVD COATINGS
The influence of colour on design is increasing, not only in traditional markets for PVD coatings but also in new areas of interior design and luxury products. From furniture trimmings to lighting and white goods, the growing colour range of decorative PVD coatings is inspiring designers to upgrade the look and feel of even small product components. The same is true for luxury products: phones, earbuds, e-cigarettes, pens, and more. PVD coatings are perfect for providing the real ‘cold touch’ that makes a product feel high quality.
Huub: “Initially, this market expansion will probably only increase demand for coating service providers. But as the appeal of PVD coatings becomes more widespread, it may well become feasible for companies to start bringing coating capacity in house. Designers have started looking at products with new eyes, and there is no reason to assume they will stop doing that.”
TREND 5: ANTIBACTERIAL COATINGS
The desire for coatings that can help reduce disease burden can be understood by anyone. The main applications for Hauzer’s antibacterial coatings were initially imagined to be high-touch surfaces such as taps and door handles in hospitals and public areas. However, consumers are increasingly interested for their private homes.
Huub: “Adding antibacterial properties to Hauzer coatings is only a minor machine upgrade. We are very proud of being able to add optimized antibacterial properties to coatings while keeping colour fidelity. This way, we can match new, antibacterial products to our customer’s existing product range. At the moment, we are very interested in partnering with companies looking to test our antibacterial coatings for antiviral properties as well.”
TREND 6: QUICK RAMP-UP IN IN-HOUSE COATING CAPACITY
In today’s global economy of fast trends and short attention spans, having to wait for a coating machine to be built can be the death of a product that could have been a resounding success. For that reason, Hauzer offers a unique ramp-up service. Through our longstanding collaboration with coating service provider Ionbond, we can guarantee a short time-to-market of your coated product while your coating machine takes form in the Hauzer factory.
The past year has brought challenges as well as opportunities. Huub: “I’m happy to say that, even with global travel restrictions in place, we have been able to keep up our global service and delivery.”
In terms of market trends, we mostly see the continuation of trends that were already on the rise: an increased eye for design and demand for colour variety, driven further by consumers increasing their time spent at home. The demand for antibacterial coatings, too, has only increased. From the coating producers’ perspective, the trends for multi-purpose machines and reduced time-to-market make perfect business sense.
Are you interested in getting started in the very interesting decorative coating sector, or in expanding your capacity and colour range? Please contact Huub Vercoulen ([email protected] or +31 6 462 01 462) or register for our webinar on Tuesday 30 March. Read here everything about this webinar.