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Nalco Receives 2012 Automotive News Pace Award

2012 Automotive News PACE Award logoNalco, an Ecolab company, was named a 2012 Automotive News PACE Award winner by Automotive News, a leading automotive industry publication. Nalco was recognized in the Manufacturing Process and Capital Equipment category for its APEX paint detackification technology, the first truly effective paint detackification chemistry that is made from renewable resources, does not use formaldehyde and is completely biodegradable.

The APEX Program utilizes next-generation, patent-pending technology developed through extensive research and rigorous field testing. The result is a unique program that raises the bar for paint detackification programs by lowering total cost of operations, increasing system performance, and providing a step-change improvement in program sustainability.

The APEX Program supports the automotive industry's goal to create a "Green Paint Shop" through innovations in paint detackification chemistry, equipment and service. In application, the APEX program helps reduce chemical use by more than 80 percent and helps reduce waste by more than 50 percent while helping to minimize water use and total cost of operation. In addition, APEX paint detackification chemistry is composed of more than 99 percent renewable resources, elminating the use of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals.

“In just 24 months, more than 100 assembly plants are now using this technology,” said Eric Ouderkirk, Nalco global marketing manager, Manufacturing Industries. “The APEX Program delivers value in all three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. Unparalleled cost performance; solid waste reduction, use of renewable raw materials and a step-change improvement in human exposure by eliminating use of melamine formaldehyde, the conventional chemistry for paint detackification, have driven rapid adoption.”

Nalco Inventors receive the 2012 PACE AwardAlthough current technology has improved the transfer efficiency of paint sprayed onto vehicles, there is still significant waste generated from overspray. This paint is carried away by water and must be detackified to maintain cleanliness of the system and ensure environmental compliance. An effective detackification program also minimizes the amount of waste that must be landfilled.

Now in its 18th year, the Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) Awards recognize superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance among automotive suppliers. The award competition is open to suppliers who contribute products, processes, materials or services directly to the manufacture of cars or trucks. For details of the Automotive News PACE Award, visit