2016 Convention "Wrap Up"

The 54th SCANZ Convention is now over, and it was well attended by over 80 delegates ranging from researchers, chemists, sales people and manufacturers from throughout New Zealand, Australia and beyond. The 2016 theme was ‘Back To The Future’ and the papers presented certainly fitted well with that.

Firstly we need to thank the people and companies who made this event happen, namely the sponsors without who we couldn’t run the event, the speakers who give us a reason for being there, and of course, the delegates, who this is for!

Our speakers put a lot of time and effort into preparing their talks, and it showed. FYI for the attendees, we have set up a page with a list of the speakers details, should you want to contact them for more information on their topic, and on this page is also a link to those presentations we have been given permission to release.

Special thanks to our long standing and supportive sponsors. They help every year, and we honestly couldn’t run a convention without them. To the left of the page is a list of the sponsors, and if you click on the logos, you will be taken straight to their company websites. Please support them as they support us.

The convention started with the usual Welcome Function at the hotel, where everyone got to reconnect, before heading out to Brenntag’s now famous Quiz Night. Brenntag have supported this for 4 years now, and it is fast becoming a highlight of the Convention, with over 80 people going! We would like to congratulate David Kennedy and his team who came first, however please take on this challenge to put together a team to take on David next year. In the last 4 years, David and his team (and he obviously knows how to pick them) have won 3 times, and the time they didn’t win, they came second. Of course, you didn’t need to win to have fun, and that is what was had by all. Thanks again to Brenntag for putting on a wonderful event.

Friday started with technical papers, starting with Novel Acrylic Epoxy Hybrid Technology by Dr Jia Tang of Dow Singapore. This was then followed by Peter Caley of Covestro’s talk on Polyaspartic Urethane Coatings.

After a short break for morning tea, we then moved onto the more generic papers, with Catherine Beard’s NZ Manufacturing Update, and then Richard Hansen’s take on The Changing Shape of the NZ Paint Market. Both of these were extremely interesting, and a great run in to the more technical talk by Richard Ween from Nuplex on A New Generation of Acrylic Binders, where he was trying very hard not to give too much information away!

Lunch gave the little grey cells a much needed rest, before ploughing straight back into the technical talks with a teleconference call by Jonathan Huang, Croda Singapore on Sustainable Alkyd Based Coatings. We then moved away from chemistry, and learned about the indepth structure of Wood from Alan Dickson, of SCION – a topic he is passionate about, and that really came through in his talk. One of the surprises of the convention was an extremely energising and entertaining talk on the Health & Safety at Work Act by Courtney Taylor of the OSM Group. It seemed that most people were dreading this, and could not quite believe how engaging it was, so much so that we had to actually stop the questions or we wouldn’t have been able to have afternoon tea.

For our final session of the day, Daniel Palm from Dow Chemical Australia took us through Shaping the Future of Surface Coatings Preservation before we moved onto the second most surprising talk by Ross Stevens, a Design Futurist of the School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington. I think the response to this was summed up by a sponsor who said they couldn’t see how the talk on Digital Craft by a Design Futurist could be in any way related to coatings, or interesting, and Ross’s passion and enthusiasm for the future of 3D printing was certainly contagious. You won’t see a presentation on this, as it was more of a show and tell, with some amazing objects being created by 3D printers, using all sorts of mediums.

Our Friday night formal dinner started off with the fantastic news that we have a new Life Member – Mr Tom Hackney. Congratulations Tom. You join a prestigious group of SCANZ Life Members. After a couple of courses of rather delicious food, Sir Ray Avery spoke on his life and journey to becoming New Zealander of the year, and he reminded us kiwis that we can be proud of who we are. His talk was informative, encouraging, uplifting, and funny. A perfect combination from an amazing man.

Saturday started with a somewhat disturbing talk about Asbestos. Just because it isn’t being talked about, doesn’t mean it has gone away, and we had a chance to watch exactly how Asbestos affects lungs. There were quite a few people squirming then. Phil Wilkinson from the Master painters Association gave us a very interesting talk on the Association, and what painters would like to see in the future development of coatings, and finally showed us some of the issues that they are facing. This was another talk that produced a plethora of questions, some of which were quite contentious.

The sessions rightfully ended with Peter Walters, our Surface Coatings Historian, taking us through the History of Coatings from Neanderthal man through to current history and so much in between. The adverts he showed that advertised products throughout the recent history were both amusing and chilling – “White Lead Snack” anyone?

Once lunch was over, a good number of people headed out to the Weta Workshops, where we had a tour of behind the scenes production of props and costumes. This is where ideas are turned into sometimes frightening reality, and the methods used showcase yet again the ingenuity of Weta. The main issue the Weta tour had was getting people to leave.

Saturday night was the fun and relaxing theme night, with everyone getting into the swing of the “United Nations” theme, celebrating being in the nation’s capital, and surrounded by the plethora of embassy’s and consulates. The costumes, while not up to Weta standards, certainly proved the dedication and determination of the delegates and their partners to get into the swing of it. Don’t believe us, we have pictures to prove it! Click on the Convention Menu – photos, and see what we mean.
Lastly, we would like to thank Sue Peck, our stalwart convention organiser, Frank Sviatko, our wonderful photographer, and the Convention Sub-committee of Steve Wilson, Penny Meads and Donna Vincent.

We encourage you to start looking now towards the 55th SCANZ Convention which is at the new date of 1 – 3 September, with the hope of enticing more international speakers to come to the NZ Convention, before crossing the ditch to go to the Australian SCAA Convention the week after. The theme for 2017 is “Our Blue Planet”, and the Call for Papers has been released already. If you are interested in presenting a paper please contact us on conventions@scanz.org.nz.