BASF to open new Automotive Application Centre in China

Mar 14, 2019   Tier Suppliers

BASF is enhancing its regional innovation capabilities with new facilities at the Innovation Campus Shanghai, to further strengthen collaboration with the automotive industry. With an investment of approximately €34 million ($38.42 million), the new 5,000-square-metre facilities include the Automotive Application Center and the Process Catalysis Research & Development (R&D) Centre.

The company also presented a range of locally-developed innovations which support customers in industries like automotive, construction and consumer goods, and which address important market trends to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and enhance performance. BASF also launched an innovative waterborne coating system.


“China’s most important growth industries can benefit enormously from innovations in chemistry. Thanks to continuous investment in research and development over the past several years, we are able to support our customers in China and the entire Asia Pacific region as they strive to improve consumers’ quality of life, address the challenges of rapid development and meet their sustainability goals,” said Dr. Stephan Kothrade, President Functions Asia Pacific, President and Chairman Greater China, BASF.


Dr. Harald Lauke, President, Advanced Materials & Systems Research and Research Representative Asia Pacific, BASF, said, “We have invested nearly €180 million ($203.4 million) here since 2012. More importantly, our R&D experts work closely with our business teams and customers, so as to shorten the time-to-market of innovative products.”


Equipped with a state-of-the-art spray booth for electrostatic applications, a physical testing lab, and a 3D robot, the BASF Automotive Application Centre, Asia Pacific is designed to enable customer-oriented R&D activities. The 3D robot can simulate nearly any situation on a paint line, anywhere in the world; enabling the new centre to optimise application processes and products. It can apply the automotive coatings not only on horizontal and vertical surfaces, but also on three-dimensional objects such as car doors and bumpers. 


The robot allows BASF to develop new products for customers in the automotive industry. It provides design solutions for automotive products as well as potential new trends and developments in the automotive coatings industry. The expanded capacities also feature laboratories for sustainable painting applications.


“This is a significant milestone in expanding BASF’s R&D footprint in Asia Pacific. Now we will have the full innovation cycle for coatings in one location – in the region, for the region. The state-of-the-art Application Centre will help us to serve our automotive customers even better,” said Dirk Bremm, President of BASF’s Coatings division.


ColorEco is a novel waterborne Monocoat and waterborne integrated paint system. The solution was first applied on light commercial vehicles from JAC, a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer based in Anhui Province, China. It helps automotive manufacturers meet strict regulations for emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), especially in the light commercial vehicle and compact multi-purpose vehicle segments. The conventional system requires four coating layers. With the Integrated Process 2 for metallic colours, the first layer primer is integrated into the basecoat with better functionality. With Monocoat, it is even possible to integrate three steps into one – saving time, energy, and materials.


Innovative engine covers offer quiet and comfort for vehicles. Polyurethane (PU) integral foam solutions with an open cell structure offer unique performance as they are light-weight, with excellent sound insulation and flame resistance. Elastofoam PU solutions helps to make vehicles quieter and provide riders with a better experience inside the cabin.

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