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HMG PaintsHMG Paints have proudly announced the opening of The Newton Centre and The Riverside Building at their manufacturing site in Collyhurst, Manchester.

The new facilities provide the company with a brand new centre of excellence, focussing on innovation, manufacturing, development and training. Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, was on hand to officially open the new site.

As the UK’s largest independent industrial paints manufacturer and one of the industry’s eldest family-owned enterprises, HMG Paints have committed to the future of the business. The opening of the new facilities shows that, despite the current precarious economic climate, HMG Paints continues to forge ahead and build for the future

In November 2011, the company were selected to receive a grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Over the last year, the Government support has helped preparation of facilities begin, specifically catering for a pilot programme focussing on the development and manufacture of water based coatings. The Newton Centre, named after the company’s long-serving and recently retired Production Manager, John Newton, will be the focus of this recent investment.

John Falder, HMG Paints’ Managing Director, and recently appointed Chairman of the British Coatings Federation Industrial Coatings Council, acknowledges the importance of constantly moving business forward. “HMG Paints has a rich history of innovation and the newly opened facilities really emphasise our ambitions to constantly develop the organisation. Our new high performance, water borne coatings department shows our commitment to developing and manufacturing innovative coatings that will benefit our customers and the environment.”

The Riverside Building is a further area of development on the site and will largely be used as the organisation’s training hub. In this facility, HMG staff, end-use customers and distribution partners will be provided with comprehensive training, exploring the products and services offered by HMG Paints. This centre for innovation and training will supply paint users and distributors will all the tools necessary to both use and supply HMG coatings successfully.

HMG Paints’ 30 key distribution partners across the UK and Ireland already have access to the class-leading Unit colour mixing scheme, in-depth paint stock and a direct line to the factory’s technical team. With the new training facilities at The Riverside Building, each distributor will be a specialist supplier in its own right, able to advise on complex product application issues and meet the surface coating requirements of its own customer base, in partnership with HMG Paints.

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Sherwin-Williams photoRepair Link is awarding its supply agreement to Sherwin-Williams to be delivered through iris, one of the UK’s leading specialists of automotive refinish distributors.

The contract will ensure that the Repair Link network of repairers will gain access to the HP Process and AWX paint refinish systems and supporting consumables through iris’ 52 locations and 12 distributors, enabling them to benefit from increased economies of scale as well as have the opportunity to increase their profitability and control costs associated with the paint and materials process.

The decision to hand its paint supply contract to Sherwin-Williams aligns with Repair Link’s commitment to repair over replace. The speed with which repairs can be achieved using the HP Process and AWX Colorcube, combined with the no-bake process, means bodyshops make significant savings. The paint system allows them to capitalise on the revenue stream delivered through conducting minor repair damage and smart repair.

As a recognised industry business and a focused provider of repair volume, Repair Link provides its network with a paint and bodyshop consumables programme that allows repairers to negotiate their own individual supply package and to benefit from the commercial relationship with the iris distributor of their choice.

Jason Ingham, Managing Director at Repair Link, says: “The full support of the business partner initiative leads to best in class control of repairers’ average repair costs while maintaining healthy profit margins and customer service. This aligns to Repair Link’s own strategy of ‘controlling cost and downtime like no other’.”

Doug Slicker, Market Manager UK & Ireland, Sherwin-Williams comments: “Sherwin-Williams is looking forward to supporting Repair Link through the iris group of leading distributors. This agreement is excellent news for the industry, as it underlines our commitment to distribution and to delivering profitable growth to the repair network.”

Ingham adds: “Our agreement represents an exciting opportunity for Repair Link. Through the mutual support of our trusted supply partners, we will be able to continue to develop further business opportunities to the direct benefit of the repair network and clients while continuing on our promise to repair rather than replace.”

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Nat Lo Raso of Sinemaster is the winner of this year’s third annual technical trainer of the year awards run by iris, the UK’s leading group of specialist automotive refinish coatings distributors. The final, which took place on October 19 at Newberry House Academy, MKPE’s training facility in Milton Keynes, tested the four finalists’ skills with a ‘typical’ bodyshop day.

The technicians were given six hours to rectify a colour problem by achieving the closest colour match, complete a two tone car panel and refurbish an alloy wheel. Each work station had an alloy wheel in different states of repair and a variety of metallic colours to match. For the colour rectification, four metallic tints were supplied along with one weight measurement making for a challenging task.

Phil Buczko, Legal Compliance Manager of iris, who organised and ran the final, really put the contestants through their paces. Phil was particularly interested in the health and safety aspect of the competition and carefully monitored all finalists to ensure they demonstrated full PPE and health & safety (H&S) requirements throughout the day.

Phil says: “These guys are at the peak of their profession and because of this it was critical to evaluate their thought process, planning and end result. Planning and timing was mandatory to stand out in this competition. The day replicated a typical bodyshop scenario with the added pressure of a competition to help turn the heat up. All the finalists’ colour matching was fantastic. Congratulations to Nat Lo Raso of Sinemaster, it was a very close competition but Nat was deservedly crowned the technical trainer of the year for 2011.”

Nat Lo Raso, Technical Trainer, Sinemaster, says: “The competition was undoubtedly hard work especially being under such immense pressure but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I’m delighted to be walking home with the trophy after making it as a finalist in the first year. Technical training doesn’t often get the recognition it deserves and this competition is a brilliant opportunity for us to gauge our technical ability against other trainers.”

A total of 27 participants entered the awards this year. The four finalists were Mick Butler – JCA Coatings, Steve Jefferies – JCA Coatings, Paul Carpenter – MKPE and Nat Lo Raso of Sinemaster. In addition, the finalists were required to complete a 50 point questionnaire to prove their technical prowess and make it into the final competition.

iris business partners, Sherwin-Williams, BASF, GAU, BODY Magazine, 3M, Farecla, Standox, Ash Communications, UPOL, PPG, DeVilbiss, Henkel Loctite, ABP Club, Octoral and Sata provided a fantastic range of prizes for the finalists.

Owen Stafford, Managing Director of iris, says: “The awards are an opportunity to recognise the outstanding technical capability and support that iris offers the marketplace. My heartfelt thanks go to all the iris participating distribution businesses for allowing the time for their finalists to enter. On a special note, we would also like to thank our business partners who provided the finalists with some brilliant prizes.”

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