Interview with David Domínguez for the Advanced Materials Cluster of Catalonia
Briolf Group's strategic planning director, David Domínguez, explains what Cromaresme does as well as the challenges it faces in its move towards greater sustainability in the field of industrial paints in an interview with the MAV cluster.
“We are working towards becoming a diversified coating manufacturer that can offer efficient and sustainable solutions”
Cromaresme was founded 65 years ago and so has a long history in the sector of industrial paints. Committed to the development of highly specialized coatings and finishes, Cromaresme offers solutions for the painting of plastics and glass that combine high adhesion and protection with optimal aesthetic properties.
We spoke with David Domínguez Padrosa, Briolf Group's strategic planning director, about what the company does and its main characteristics, as well as market trends and the challenges faced by the industrial paint sector as it makes its transition towards greater sustainability.
What are the main distinguishing features of Cromaresme compared to other industrial paint manufacturers?
Cromaresme excels in three main areas: flexibility, both in terms of production and customer service, expertise in colorimetry, thanks to its extensive experience in creating colors in the most demanding sectors, and the development of custom paints. A friendly and personalized approach, together with expertise and an agile production process, allow us to adapt to the specific needs of each client.
In terms of product, what do clients need?
By definition, paints have, on the one hand, an aesthetic purpose and, on the other hand, a protective purpose due to their anti-scratch, anti-corrosion and adhesive properties. In terms of aesthetics, clients look for colors that stand out, that have a specific texture, that are original and which allow them to create their own identity. But this has to be taken a step further and at Cromaresme we are able to reproduce colors in a very consistent and precise way, thus ensuring that it matches with other parts or components.
As for protection, all industrial sectors have a lot of pressure in terms of costs, which means they seek highly durable solutions that require little maintenance. Cromaresme ensures that our products meet this demand for high performance through trials, certificates, internal manufacturer standards and ISO standards, as well as opting at all times for top quality products and raw materials.
Which sectors do you mainly focus on?
For many years, we have been a leading company in Catalonia in the motorcycle industry and the auxiliary automotive industry. Due to the offshoring of many production plants from this sector following the 2008 economic crisis, Cromaresme had to diversify. In 2017, the company joined the Briolf Group with the aim of boosting its activity and increasing its production capacity.
Today, we are an agile company with a personal touch that is able to adapt easily and has an efficient and fast production process. We mainly offer solutions for painting plastics in the automotive and auxiliary industries and for painting glass in the cosmetics and beverage packaging sectors, such as wine and liquor bottles. Moreover, we also have a line of business which focuses on the sales of complementary products, such as primers, clear coats, etc., for a range of industrial clients which include machine manufacturers, metallurgists, house appliance manufacturers or specialists in industrial decoration, among others.
What are some of the emerging trends in industrials paints?
Everything related to the environment and sustainability are on the rise. There is a lot of demand for water-based paints, which contain less volatile organic components in their composition and allow for a reduction in emissions during their application, and for paints with a high content of solids, which offer better performance and are also more sustainable because they have a lower content of solvents.
There is still, however, a long way to go to maximize sustainability in the paint world; for instance, bio-based resin solutions still need a lot of work if they are to be sold on an industrial scale.
What would you say is the most important challenge for industrial paint manufacturers right now?
The challenges are many and varied but one of the main ones is probably competing with very large companies, who have a lot of control over the market. Creating new colors or trying to create more sustainable solutions all signify a lot of investment.
Another important challenge is ensuring the consistency and reproducibility of paints. This is extremely important, especially in the automotive industry where there must be no deviation whatsoever in the color of the different parts of a vehicle.
The manufacturing of paints has a strong environmental impact. How do you tackle this within the company?
Since the takeover by the Briolf Group, Cromaresme has gradually integrated all of the environmental policies of Roberlo, another ISO 14001-certified company in the group, which manages waste, emissions and primary materials.
We are currently incorporating research lines that aim to develop more sustainable products, including water-based solutions, with less solvents, raw materials obtained from recycling processes, as well as other natural-based solutions. For the transition towards a greater level of sustainability and respect for the environment in the sector, it is highly important for the big markets, such as the automotive industry, to get on board, as well as for paint manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials to work together.
What are the main benefits of being a part of the MAV Cluster?
The material sector is a source of great innovation. The MAV Cluster allows us to be in contact with companies that need coating solutions for their products and with companies that are interested in starting collaboration projects.