The SCANZ 2014 Convention

This years convention focused on "Natural Resources" and Tauranga certainly showed us that by putting on the best weather they could - who could believe it was actually winter.

The Convention started as always with the Welcome Cocktails and Trivia Night - which in its second year produced some highly competitive and 'interesting' answers.

After the SCANZ President, Peter Walters, welcomed everyone to the meeting, we had some brief words by Simon Bridges, the MP for Tauranga, before moving into the main event.

Dr Simon Hinkley, Research Scientist in the newly formed Ferrier Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington and our keynote speaker reminded us what a good speaker he is. His presentation on Renewable Formulation Technologies: New materials, new opportunities was extremely informative, interesting and at times very humourous (remember the rabbit comment!).

No one really wants to follow Simon, but Dr Stewart Williams from Dow stepped up to the challenge and presented a fantastic paper on 'Optimizing Architectural Coatings for Maximum Applied Hiding'. Who knew that the human eye can detect such small changes!

Dr Craig Dupree was next with his paper on 'The Search for Alternative 'Environmentally Friendy' Marine Antifouling Coatings' (spot the oxymoron). In saying that, this showed some really interesting research has been started.

While for some people, the words 'Castor Oil' brings up some very unpleasant memories! However, Scott Olufson showed its other use in his paper 'Sustainable Polyols for the Flooring and Construction Markets'.

After the lunch break Georgina Shelton-Agar and Annette Webb explained why we need to follow all the regulations for transport in both the National and International Markets - everyone in the supply chain needs to know What, How, Who and When, and everything else it seems.

Next up Frank Taylor explained why the new Health and Safety Act is being implemented, and will most likely be implemented with the Act is finalised. There is a lot of information here and in this case, we highly recommend everyone keep an eye on this.

Chua Guan Hoe then gave a talk on 'New Solvent-Free Waterborne Epoxy Resin Dispersion for Low VOC 2-Pack Protective Coatings' - the drivers behind the change and its application on metal and concrete.

Greg Percival of Resene was first up after Afternoon Tea, and reminded up why R & D is so interesting. The paper 'Hearing Opportunity Knocking' went into some great detail, and the final slide summed it up with the quote by Thomas Edison "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

The final presenter on Friday was Aurelie Karim from CmmP with her paper 'Mica and Micaceous Oxide: Nature with Functionality'. This worked in perfectly with the convention theme, and showed just how our natural resources can benefit paint and coatings.

Friday's formal dinner at Mills Reef lived up to their reputation, with fine food and wine.

Saturday's presentations started with Dylan Nixon of Clariant giving his first ever talk on Colouring and Stabilizing Plastics. He did a very good job and presented a very good paper.

Next up was a highlight with Dr Chris Battershill giving a much too short presentation on "The MV Rena, Environmental Effects and Legacy". Too many times we heard "but we don't have time to go into that" and wished we did. Dr Battershill was an entralling speaker, who kept everyone interested right up to the end. (And we don't envy the students who have to go through 1,000,000 photos of the sea floor!)

Scott Mexted of Dulux then talked about his work on Sustainability / Product Stewardship. Scott delivered some extremely useful information that could be used in any company as a blueprint of how to start their own project.

The final speaker of the convention was Paul Lever of Cristal given a talk on "A special Titanium Dioxide to increase the effectiveness of conventional grade Titanium Dioxide." The detailed talk ended with a great summary "Don’t be scared of blending TiO2 grades - the gains can sometimes outweigh the pains."

We have copies of all the presentations available for members under the Members Portal - click here for the link.

Saturday afternoon was for relaxing and enjoying the may activities that were scheduled, with fishing, cruising, blokart rides (and falls) all being undertaken with gusto, and may great stories.

Saturday's dinner though was fantastic. The theme was Castaways and the costumes were brilliant, and the choice of the winner was hard to make. Special mention goes to the various captains and crew who turned up, along with the rather dramatic ladies. The sharks were extremely funny, and made good work of circling their prey!

Reverting back to the days where humour was allowed and even encouraged, Richard Calvin presented some of the more fun awards, with the 'Where's Wally?' award, biggest fish of the day, most relaxed on the cruise, best bee dance (you had to bee there, and I know who has the video!) and others we can't mention - you really had to be there and what happens in Tauranga, stays in Tauranga. Special mention also goes to the band for the night - their music selection had everyone up on their feet and ensured a great time for everyone.

All in all this was another brilliant convention.

As always, we want to thank our sponsors - Dow as our Gold Sponsor, Chemcolour as our Silver Sponsor, and our General Sponsors - Alchemy, Bayer, Brenntag, Chemiplas, DIC, IMCD, Nuplex Resins, Nuplex Specialities, Orica, Rebain and Shepherd, along with the NZPMA. Our Conventions have a strong technical focus, but require generous commercial support to enable us to keep registration fees affordable and encourage as many participants as possible. Please support the companies that aid our industry through their sponsorship of our Conventions.

Our special thanks go to Richard Calvin as Convenor, David Kennedy and Marina Parsikova for their co-ordination and Sue Peck for her wonderful organisation as always.

Now it is time to look ahead to the 2015 Convention, and this is already underway. Save the dates of 23 - 25 July 2015, where we will be in Rotorua. The theme of the convention will be "Colour the World".

If you are interested in being a sponsor, or presenting a paper, please contact David on convention@scanz.org.nz.

We look forward to seeing you all there.